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Focus on US in probe on origin of COVID-19 virus: Chinese epidemiologist

Focus on US in probe on origin of COVID-19 virus:  Chinese epidemiologist

A new controversial turn has emerged in the investigation into the origin of coronavirus as a senior Chinese expert demanded that the probe on the novel coronavirus should now be shifted to the US. Demanding such investigation, the expert cited a new study that showed the existence of novel coronavirus in the US in December 2019.

Zeng Guang, a chief epidemiologist with the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention said to the state-run news tabloid, the Global Times, that the United States should be given precedence in the next phase of investigations into the origin of COVID-19.

The findings of the study, published this week by the U.S. National Institutes for Health (NIH), showed that at least seven people in five U.S. states were infected earlier than any official COVID-19 case was ever reported.

"All bio-weapons related subjects that the country has should be subject to scrutiny," stated Zeng Guang, as cited by Reuters. On Wednesday, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said, while taking a note on the recent study, that it is now evident that the Covid-19 outbreak had multiple origins and that other countries should work together with the World Health Organization (WHO).

With theories of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, emerging from a research lab in Wuhan, where the deadly virus was first detected in humans, going rounds, the pandemic origin has irked a political relationship between China and the United States. An intelligence report, which was taken up by the Wall Street Journal earlier, had concluded that it was possible for a lab leak from the Wuhan lab. Chinese officials, however, rubbished the report, adding that most countries including the United States are attempting to divert from their inability to curb the spread of the virus.

Mutant variants of Covid are spreading rapidly across the globe, with about 177 million confirmed cases and over 3.8 million deaths in almost 220 countries.

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