In a desperate attempt to shift focus, Chinese scientists from Chinese Academy of Sciences have claimed that the pandemic originated in India in the summer of 2019.
The paper claims the source of the virus could have been from humans and wild animals sharing the same water source because of a large heatwave across India and Pakistan in 2019.
The scientists went on to claim the source of the virus could have been from humans and wild animals sharing the same water source.
“From May to June 2019, the second-longest recorded heat wave had rampaged in northern-central India and Pakistan, which created a serious water crisis in this region,” the paper reads.
“The water shortage made wild animals such as monkeys engage in the deadly fight over water among each other and would have surely increased the chance of human-wild animal interactions.
It concluded Covid-19 most likely emerged in India or Bangladesh, but also lists Australia, Russia, Serbia, Italy, Greece, USA and the Czech Republic as possible starting points.
Amidst “dispute over the origin of the virus”, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has informed that a team of 10 experts had a virtual meeting with their Chinese counterparts last month.
WHO Director (emergencies) Michael Ryan stated, “We fully expect and have reassurances from our Chinese government colleagues that the trip to the field will be facilitated, and as soon as possible…We need to be able to have the international team join our Chinese colleagues… and look at the results and the outcomes of (their) studies and verify the data on the ground.”
Indian scientists have also challenged the findings of the Shanghai study.
Mukesh Thakur, a virologist working with the Indian government, told the South China Morning Post the conclusions were a “misinterpretation”.
The emergence of the virus prompted a draconian three-month shutdown of Hubei province from January 23 – though it later spread to 218 countries and infected over 61 million people worldwide.