Shocking photos from a Wuhan laboratory show a broken seal on a store containing 1,500 strains of the virus – including the bat coronavirus linked to the devastating pandemic.
The startling images of the city where the virus broke out were published last month by the China Daily on Twitter before being quickly removed.
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They were first released in 2018 before reappearing and worried about how the virus has spread around the world.
The photo of the fridge freezer shows a loose, fragile seal on the door as a laboratory worker pulls out a refrigerated box containing deadly samples while wearing gloves and a mask.
Earlier this month, it was revealed that the minister was concerned that the deadly pandemic could not have started after a leak from a laboratory.
US and British intelligence officials suspect scientists in the Wuhan Institute of Virology accidentally spread the killer during risky coronavirus tests on bats.
In January 2018, the U.S. Embassy in Beijing sent two official warnings to Washington highlighting inadequate security measures at the Wuhan laboratory where scientists have conducted dangerous research on bat coronaviruses, reported the Washington Post.
They warned of weaknesses in laboratory security and management and offered increased international assistance, as the Chinese refused to prove their ability to work independently.
Patient Zero, the first person to contract Covid-19, was an intern who allegedly infected her boyfriend.
President Donald Trump has said that the United States is trying to determine whether the coronavirus was first passed to humans when tested on bats.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the WIV was “only a few kilometers” from the live animal market that Chinese authorities rushed to identify as the source of the epidemic.
Wuhan lab officials previously dismissed allegations that the coronavirus originated from their establishment and called them baseless conspiracy theories.
Scientists have said that genetic evidence indicates that the virus was not artificially modified and that it probably originated from bats.
However, genetic data cannot tell exactly where and how the virus first spread to humans.
President Xi Jinping warned the public about the virus on January 20, after more than 3,000 people were infected during almost a week of silence.
During the six days that the world was unaware of the virus, the city of Wuhan – the epicenter of the global epidemic – held a mass banquet for tens of thousands, and millions began to travel for Lunar New Year celebrations.
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On March 11, the virus was declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization.
Other reports have also been published alleging that China has attempted to cover up its role in the spread of the pandemic by silencing whistleblowers and muzzling scientists, while worried doctors have disappeared.
2.3 million people have been infected with the deadly virus since the start of the year.
Countries have closed and cities are becoming ghost towns as the world tries to combat the spread of the virus.
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While most are recovering, at least 155,000 people have died, according to a Johns Hopkins University count based on figures provided by health officials around the world.
China has reported 16 new cases and no deaths in the 24 hours until midnight Saturday.
This brought the official death toll to 4,632, of whom about three-quarters were in the central city of Wuhan, where the virus appeared among 82,735 confirmed cases.