Evan as death toll crossed 1,800 in China, rumours, claiming that the novel Coronavirus was created in a Wuhan lab as a biological weapon, began doing the rounds on social media such as Facebook and WhatsApp.
The message claimed that the disease had escaped from Wuhan Institute of Virology laboratory after being genetically engineered.
However, this news have been rubbished by experts of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, and also the World Health Organization, which has warned against circulation of such false messages.
A scientist from the Cancer Research Centre has reportedly said, “There is no evidence whatsoever of genetic engineering” and that the mutations in the virus are “completely consistent with natural evolution.”
Dr Beford from the Research Centre also refuted claims that Covid-19 might have infected humans from snakes or even fish. Based on genetic analysis, he suggested that the virus was most likely transmitted by a bat to another mammal between 20-70 years ago. This intermediary mammal has not been identified and is believed to have transmitted it to the first human during late November or early December 2019.
According to Chinese state media, the number of infected people stands at 73,424 cases. A report from February 10 suggests that around 8.2 per cent or 3,000 patients have been cured of the disease. Medical professionals in China are currently testing plasma from cured patients to treat the infected, citing that it is showing promising results.