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How did COVID-19 begin? Ex-UK secret service chief believes it was a 'Chinese lab accident'

As China faces the heat from the rest of the world over the explanation of how COVID-19 first began, British secret intelligence service (MI6) chief believes that it was all a Chinese lab accident.

India TV News Desk India TV News Desk
New Delhi Published on: June 04, 2020 13:51 IST
An aerial view shows the P4 laboratory (C) at the Wuhan Institute of Virology in Wuhan in China's ce
Image Source : AP

An aerial view shows the P4 laboratory (C) at the Wuhan Institute of Virology in Wuhan in China's central Hubei province on 17 April 2020. - The P4 epidemiological laboratory was built in co-operation with French bio-industrial firm Institut Merieux and the Chinese Academy of Sciences. The facility is among a handful of labs around the world cleared to handle Class 4 pathogens (P4) - dangerous viruses that pose a high risk of person-to-person transmission

As China faces the heat from the rest of the world over the explanation of how COVID-19 first began, British secret intelligence service (MI6) chief believes that it was all a Chinese lab accident. Sir Richard Dearlove, the former MI6 chief told The Telegraph's Planet Normal podcast that a scientific report published this week by Norwegian-British research team suggests that COVID-19 pandemic is a byproduct of the respiratory virus 'escaping' a laboratory in China. 

As per the reported cited by the Dearlove, clues have been discovered within the genetic sequence of the virus that suggest that its key elements were man-made and 'inserted'.

"I do think that this started as an accident… It raises the issue, if China ever were to admit responsibility, does it pay reparations? I think it will make every country in the world rethink how it treats its relationship with China and how the international community behaves towards the Chinese leadership," Sir Richard Dearlove, who was the head of MI6 between 1999 and 2004, told The Telegraph's podcast.

He further went on to suggest that Chinese scientists were possibly carrying out clandestine gene-splicing experiments on bat coronaviruses when the virus escaped due to biosecurity flaw.

"It's a risky business if you make a mistake. Look at the stories... of the attempts by the leadership to lock down any debate about the origins of the pandemic and the way that people have been arrested or silenced. I mean, we shouldn't really have any doubt any longer about what we're dealing with," Dearlove said. 

Dearlove accused China to then covering up the scale of the epidemic. "Of course, the Chinese must have felt, well, if they've got to suffer a pandemic maybe we shouldn't try too hard to stop, as it were, our competitors suffering the same disadvantages we've got," said the former MI6 chief.

According to the new peer-reviewed research entitled "A Reconstructed Historical Aetiology of the SARS-CoV-2 Spike", spearheaded by Professor Angus Dalgleish of St. George's Hospital at the University of London and Norwegian virologist Birger Sorensen, the team claim to have identified "inserted sections placed on the SARS-CoV-2 Spike surface" that shed light on how the virus finds its way into human cells, writes The Telegraph.

 

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