Wuhan Institute of Virology never contacted, preserved, designed, made or leaked the coronavirus: WIV professor
Published: Jul 22, 2021 12:00 PM
Wuhan Institute of Virology Photo: VCG

Wuhan Institute of Virology Photo: VCG

Chinese health authority and official from Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) slammed the "lab-leak" theory on Thursday, stressing that no staff of WIV have been infected with COVID-19, and WIV has no viruses that can directly infect human beings. 

Zeng Yixin, deputy director of the National Health Commission, said at Thursday's media briefing that the WIV has no man-made viruses and has never conducted gain-of-function researches. 

There have been reports that three WIV researchers became seriously sick in 2019, but no one can provide the names of the patients despite the institute's demand, Yuan Zhiming, director of China's National Biosafety Laboratory and professor at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, said at the media briefing. 

Before December 30,2019,WIV did not contact, preserve or study the novel coronavirus,and it never designed, made or leaked the virus, Yuan said.

No employees or students at the Wuhan Institute of Virology were infected with the coronavirus,Yuan added. 

No pathogen leakage or human infection has occurred in Wuhan's P4 lab since it was put into operation in 2018, he said. 

Liang Wannian, team leader of the Chinese side of the WHO-China joint expert team on the COVID-19 origins, said at the briefing that they believe that the lab-leak theory is highly unlikely, and there is no need to invest more data and resources in that area. 

"If some countries believe that further investigation in this area should be carried out, then the investigations should be conducted in labs that have not yet been inspected," Liang said. 

China has submitted phase-2 COVID-19 origins-tracing recommendations to the WHO believing the study should be based on the WHO-China joint study, and it should be carried out in many more places around the world after full consultations with member states, Zeng said. 

The WHO on Friday proposed a second phase study into the origins of the coronavirus in China, including all the laboratories and markets in Wuhan. 

Zeng said that he was shocked to read the proposal and he could sense the "lack of respect for common sense and the arrogance in this proposal."

Global Times