The deadly SARS-CoV-2, the virus behind Covid-19, was deliberately engineered as a "bioweapon” by China, claimed a researcher at the infamous Wuhan Institute of Virology, media reports said.
In an interview conducted by Chinese-born human rights activist and author Jennifer Zeng, Chao Shao claimed that the researchers were tasked with identifying the most effective strain for spreading among various species, including people, Jerusalem Post reported.
Chao Shao also shared an incident involving another researcher at the institute named Shan Chao, who admitted to being provided with four strains of coronavirus by a superior to test and determine which one had the greatest potential to infect multiple species, including humans.
Chao Shao mentioned that several of his colleagues were sent to hotels accommodating athletes during the 2019 Military World Games held in Wuhan in the pretext of "checking the health or hygiene conditions".
However, Chao Shao suspected they were potentially involved in spreading the virus.Chao Shao also emphasised that the information represented only a fraction of the entire puzzle, the report said.
The true origin of the pandemic, which has claimed the lives of 7 million lives worldwide, remains a subject of ongoing investigation. The recent revelations by the newly declassified intelligence report by the US government on the origins of Covid-19 also did not confirm whether the pandemic was the result of a lab leak or the virus jumped into people from an infected animal.
“All agencies continue to assess that both a natural and laboratory-associated origin remain plausible hypotheses to explain the first human infection,” said the long-anticipated declassified report from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.
Importantly, almost all intelligence agencies “assess that SARS-CoV-2 was not genetically engineered”, the report said.“Most agencies assess that SARS-CoV-2 was not laboratory-adapted; some are unable to make a determination.
All intelligence community agencies assess that SARS-CoV-2 was not developed as a biological weapon,” it added.The report acknowledged the research conducted at the lab, including on animal sampling and genetic analysis.
“We continue to have no indication that the WIV’s pre-pandemic research holdings included SARS-CoV-2 or a close progenitor, nor any direct evidence that a specific research-related incident occurred involving WIV personnel before the pandemic that could have caused the Covid pandemic,” the report said.