he global pandemic of Covid 19 began in 2019 with its epicentre as Wuhan, China. From Wuhan, the virus spread like wildfire to all parts of the globe. The first official case to be recorded was on December 8, 2019. A recent US Intelligence finding as reported by the Wall Street Journal rekindles the doubt that whether Covid 19 originated from a man-made lab.

The intelligence finding suggests that three researchers from Wuhan Virology Lab were hospitalised for covid-like symptoms during the fall of 2019. The symptoms are similar to both Covid 19 and Common Seasonal Illness. This hospitalisation has happened before the first reported case of Covid 19.

The new finding corroborates a previous finding from the US State Department. The department officials had said that they had “reasons to believe” several researchers from Wuhan Institute of Virology had covid 19 like symptoms much before the outbreak had happened.

Last year when the theory of lab origin of Wuhan appeared many scientists had dismissed it. But the theory did get some traction around the conservative members of the American assembly.

The new finding has more relevance now as the American Secretary of State Antony Blinken had publically condemned China for its lack of transparency during the initial days of the pandemic.

In its response, China’s Foreign Ministry has termed the findings as an attempt by the US to “hype the lab leak theory”. The ministry also cited the March findings from the World Health Organization that suggested the possibility of a lab origin as “extremely unlikely”. The report had suggested that the more likely reason was the spread of the virus from bats to humans.

Many experts believe that it is important to investigate figure out how exactly the virus originated. They want China to open up for more international fact-finding missions.

It is also interesting to note that WHO chief Tedros Ghebreyesus had called for a deeper investigation as he said the current probe hasn’t fully explored the possibility of a lab leak. WHO researchers have identified that more than 90 possible Covid 19 cases from China going back to as far as October 2019.

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