In a startling revelation that could have huge consequences on world of biowarfare, an Israeli biological warfare analyst has said that the deadly animal-borne coronavirus spreading globally may have originated in a laboratory in the city of Wuhan linked to China’s covert biological weapons program, reports Washington Times.
Dany Shoham, a former Israeli military intelligence officer who has studied Chinese biological warfare, has said that China’s most advanced virus research laboratory, known as the Wuhan Institute of Virology, is linked to Beijing’s covert bio-weapons program. Mr. Shoham holds a doctorate in medical microbiology. From 1970 to 1991, he was a senior analyst with Israeli military intelligence for biological and chemical warfare in the Middle East and worldwide. He held the rank of lieutenant colonel.
“Certain laboratories in the institute have probably been engaged, in terms of research and development, in Chinese [biological weapons], at least collaterally, yet not as a principal facility of the Chinese BW alignment,” Mr. Shoham told The Washington Times. He also informed that work on biological weapons is conducted as part of dual civilian-military research which is definitely covert.
Though China has denied having any link to biological weapons, a US State Department report last year has suspected covert biological warfare work in China.The report had cited Gao Fu, director of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, as telling Chinese state-controlled media that initial signs indicated the virus originated from wild animals sold at a seafood market in Wuhan.
Dubiuous past of China’s biological warfare
The Wuhan facility was reported to have studied Corona viruses in the past, including the strain that causes Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, or SARS, the H5N1 influenza virus, Japanese encephalitis, and dengue. The SARS virus had escaped from high-level containment facilities in Beijing multiple times, reported newsmax.com Jan 25, citing Richard Ebright, a molecular biologist at Rutgers University in Piscataway, NJ, and the Nature magazine.
The China Global Television Network has reported that 46 of the deaths were in the mainland, with the remaining 10 being in Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan. Also, there were 49 cured cases and 2,684 suspected ones.
President Xi Jinping has said Jan 25 that his nation was facing a “grave situation” as the death toll from the coronavirus had risen to 56 with 1,985 cases of infection. Wuhan, a transport hub, has been placed on lockdown since Jan 23. Presently, 15 Chinese cities in Hubei province, of which Wuhan is the capital, are in lockdown, impacting more than 57 million people, the CGTV report said.