Three of the miners who had operated in the cave all died after suffering from pneumonia, the doctors concluding that they had antibodies against a still unknown Sars type coronavirus.
Researchers from the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) then studied the strain and, with a team of local cave scientists, classified the new strain as RaBtCOV / 4991.
China: WHO team to investigate epidemic
Coronavirus: the laboratory studied the strain
Led by Shi Zhengli, a leading expert in China, the scientists wrote an article titled “Coexistence of several coronaviruses in several bat colonies in an abandoned mine shaft” in 2016.
However, the document does not mention the death of three miners, the reason for the report or their pneumonia.
In 2018, Shi’s team and their research were later investigated by officials from the U.S. Embassy in Beijing.
US officials went to the Wuhan Institute, which has been certified as biosafety level 4, the highest level of security that can be granted.
JUST IN: Boris Johnson’s father Stanley finally breaks the silence during a trip to Greece
China rejects allegations
Documents leaked to the Washington Post said, “Researchers have also shown that various Sars-like coronaviruses can interact with ACE2, the human receptor identified for Sars coronavirus.
“This discovery strongly suggests that Sars type coronaviruses from bats can be transmitted to humans to cause Sars type diseases.
“When interacting with scientists at the WIV laboratory, they noted that the new laboratory was seriously lacking in technicians and investigators who were properly trained to operate this high-containment laboratory safely.”
The World Health Organization is about to send a team of officials on a scoping mission to assess the cause of the virus.
DO NOT MISS
Donald Trump speaks harsh words about the “Chinese plague” [Latest]
“Now is the time to act!” Expert calls for special actions against China [Comment]
140 million-year-old supervolcano hides under Hong Kong [Latest]
China: strain discovered in 2012
China: virus killed more than 530,000
The Director-General, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus of WHO, said: “Knowing the source of the virus is very, very important.
“We can fight the virus better when we know everything about the virus, including how it started.”
Donald Trump even accused Beijing of hiding – and the country was accused of not acting quickly enough to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
China has repeatedly denied all allegations of wrongdoing.
Coronavirus statistics as of July 4
However, Professor Richard Ebright of the Waksman Institute of Microbiology at Rutgers University in New Jersey believes that Beijing is now unlikely to allow a transparent investigation.
He said, “It is unfortunate.
“And that largely reflects the mismanagement of the case by the President, who chose to push it in a way that made the possibility of an open investigation unlikely.” ”
One of the best Chinese researchers, Wang Guangfa insisted that the WHO should also go to Spain to try to determine the cause of the epidemic.
China: Donald Trump criticized Beijing
The senior Chinese official made reference to researchers from Barcelona who said they detected COVID-19 in “wastewater” in March of last year.
The head of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Zeng Guang, also said, “It does not matter which country the work of scientific identification begins with, as long as it involves all the countries concerned and is carried out fairly. . “