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According to the US’ Fox News, the 15-page document from Five Eyes including intelligent agencies of the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Australia and New Zealand, was obtained by Australia's Saturday Telegraph newspaper and finds that China's secrecy appears to break international transparency.
The paper described how China downplayed the outbreak around the world while wildly scrambling to bury all traces of the disease at home, including bleaching wet market stalls, censoring the growing evidence of asymptomatic carriers of the virus and stonewalling sample requests from other countries, NY Post informed.
While U.S. intelligence is not confirming the existence of the 15-page document, a senior official told Fox that reports of the document aligns with U.S. intelligence that China knew the spread between humans earlier than it said, that it knew it was a novel coronavirus earlier than it said and that it was spread wider than they reported to the international community in the first weeks of the outbreak.
However, Australia believes the virus originated in a wet market, as the Chinese have claimed. The U.S. intelligence community has not yet determined this and is still leaning away from that theory.
IB Times reported that the dossier points out even though there was evidence of human to human transmission of the deadly virus from early December, authorities in Chine denied it until January 20. The World Health Organization also did the same, the report notes, despite repeated warnings from health officials in Taiwan and Hong Kong.
On January 14, weeks after the alleged evidence, the World Health Organization tweeted: "Preliminary investigations conducted by the Chinese authorities have found no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission of the novel #coronavirus (2019-nCoV) identified in #Wuhan, #China."
Later this week, The U.S. intelligence community has concluded that the coronavirus "was not manmade or genetically modified," but investigations into the origins of the outbreak are ongoing, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) said Thursday, Washington Post repoted.
The ODNI said the intelligence community "will continue to rigorously examine emerging information and intelligence to determine whether the outbreak began through contact with infected animals or if it was the result of an accident at a laboratory in Wuhan."
Speculation on the origins of the deadly virus
|The P4 laboratory at the Wuhan Institute of Virology in Wuhan in China's central Hubei province. Picture: Hector Retamal/AFP.|
Ever since the virus came to light in Wuhan in December last year, speculation has been rife on whether the viral strain originated from the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) or from its nearby Huanan Seafood Market.
For its part, China rejected the allegation affirming the coronavirus “can not be man-made” and the WIV, specifically its P4 laboratory, is equipped to handle dangerous viruses.
According to the Economic Times, WIV Director Yuan Zhiming, in a first media interview, rejected the rumours that his institute is the original source of COVID-19.
"We know what kind of research is going at the institute and how the institute manages viruses and samples. There is no way that virus came from us," he told the state-run CGTN TV channel.
"We have a strict regulatory regimen. We have code of conduct for research so we are confident of that," the director said.
He said since the Institute of Virology and the P4 lab is in Wuhan, "people can't help but make associations".
"This is entirely based on speculation. Part of the purpose is to confuse people and interfere with our anti-epidemic and scientific activities. They may have achieved their goal in some way but as a scientist and science and technology manager, I know it is impossible," he said.
The virus "cannot be man-made", Yuan said, noting that there is no evidence to prove that COVID-19 is artificial.
"Besides some scientists believe that to synthesize a virus requires extraordinary intelligence and workload. So never believed that we humans have the capability at this time to create such a virus," he said.
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