China reported that COVID-19 originated from an exotic market in Wuhan, but this claim is now being questioned. Senior sources in the UK government stated that they are currently considering whether the coronavirus was released from a Chinese laboratory.
Officials claimed that they have strong evidence that can determine if the virus indeed originated from a research laboratory in Wuhan City, Hubei province.
Wuhan's level four pathogen laboratory
According to a report in Express, experts are seriously considering the leak theory since Wuhan has the only Level Four Bio-safety laboratory in China, which is within 10 miles of the wet market where the outbreak supposedly started.
"There is a credible alternative view to the zoonotic theory based on the nature of the virus, perhaps it is no coincidence that there is that laboratory in Wuhan. It is not discounted," the member of Cobra said.
Wuhan is home to the Institute of Virology, the most progressive research center of its type on the Chinese mainland. As China revealed the plan to manufacture its first pathogen lab in 2017, scientists outside China expressed their worries in case deadly pathogens escape the lab.
This has added a biological dimension to geopolitical pressures among China and different countries.
"Our contribution to the BSL‑4-level pathogens will benefit the world," George Gao, the director of the Chinese Academy of Sciences Key Laboratory of Pathogenic Microbiology and Immunology in Beijing said.
As of now, there are two BSL-4, or Bio-safety Laboratory Four in Taiwan, but the National Bio-safety Laboratory, Wuhan, would is the first in the mainland.
The lab was guaranteed to meet the standards and criteria of BSL-4 by the China National Accreditation Service for Conformity Assessment (CNAS) in January 2017.
Chinese authorities inspected the lab's framework, equipment, and management, making ready for the Ministry of Health to give its approval.
The £30 million foundation, based ten miles from the infamous wildlife market, should be one of the most secure virology units in the world.
The state-run People's Daily newspaper said in 2018 that it was fit for leading analyses with profoundly pathogenic microorganisms, for example, the fatal Ebola infection.
Researchers at the institute were the first to propose that the virus' genome was 96 percent similar to one commonly found in bats.
Yet, regardless of its standing for high security, a pre-print logical investigation composed by a group of Chinese researchers from the South China University of Technology appallingly guaranteed that the coronavirus spread from the high-security science laboratory in Wuhan and not a wet market in the city.
The report issued in early February by biological scientists from the renowned university in Guangzhou, China, contradicts Beijing, who have even proposed the coronavirus began in the US.
Wuhan lab conducts research on bats
A pre-print entitled "The possible origins of 2019-nCoV coronavirus" by biologists Botao Xiao and Lei Xiao, wherein the report they portrayed how the killer coronavirus presumably started from a lab in Wuhan.
"We noted two laboratories conducting research on bat coronavirus in Wuhan, one of which was only 280 meters from the seafood market. We briefly examined the histories of the laboratories and proposed that the coronavirus probably originated from a laboratory. Our proposal provided an alternative origin of the coronavirus in addition to natural recombination and intermediate host," added in the report.
The scientists in the disturbing report contested official discoveries that the pathogen first made the jump from bats to humans in the Wuhan wet market.
"The probability was very low for the bats to fly to the market. According to municipal reports and the testimonies of 31 residents and 28 visitors, the bat was never a food source in the city, and no bat was traded in the market. There was possible natural recombination or an intermediate host of the coronavirus, yet little proof has been reported," they stated.
The researchers screened the area around the seafood market and recognized two laboratories conducting research on bat coronavirus. These research facilities were inside 280 meters of the market, one is known as the Wuhan Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
The research infers that this laboratory facilitated animals for research purposes, one of which was specialized in pathogen collection and identification.