Hunt for Covid-19 origin: Why a copper mineshaft in Mojiang, Yunnan in China is back in focus
New Delhi, June 06: With the COVID-19 pandemic reaching its worst heights, the mystery around the origin of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes Covid-19 disease continues has remained far from resolved.
Several theories for the origin of the virus were put forward with some scientists and politicians maintaining that the possibility of a lab leak of the deadly virus exists. Among them, the most popular is that the six miners who fell ill in 2012 which bear similarities to COVID-19.
The miners had suffered from a fever and cough for two weeks. Some even developed rust-color mucus spotted with blood. A CT scan also revealed severe pneumonia, with the same lung markings now seen in many COVID-19 patients". Mòjiāng virus (MojV), positive samples were isolated from the site six months later.
Meanwhile, an Indian scientist couple who worked with netizens globally have discovered some compelling evidence to support the hypothesis that SARS-CoV-2 virus (COVID-19) originated from a lab in Wuhan rather than a seafood market as China as widely informed.
Pune-based scientist couple, Dr. Rahul Bahulikar and Dr Monali Rahalkar said their theory that was initially dismissed as a conspiracy has again grabbed global attention.
The Wall Street Journal had also reported Wuhan Institute of Virology researchers worked at the mine, taking samples from 276 bats.
Dr Bahulikar informed that after they published their first pre-print, they were contacted by a Twitter user SEEKER, who is part of a group called DRASTIC (Decentralized Radical Autonomous Search Team investigating Covid-19) who is working on a common goal to discover evidence to support the hypothesis of lab leak theory.
Also, the top US scientist Anthony Fauci have also urged China to share medical records of miners and researchers who fell ill after visiting a bat cave in 2019 and 2012.
The Wuhan Institute of Virology is near the outbreak's known epicentre of Huanan Seafood Market in central China's Wuhan city, where the virus first emerged in late 2019 and became a pandemic. Former US president Donald Trump was among those who supported the theory that the virus might have escaped from a bio lab in China.
However, China has been vehemently denying that the coronavirus broke out in Wuhan and took exception to Trump's reference to it as "China virus" or "Wuhan virus". China asserts that the COVID-19 broke out in different places in the world and China only reported the virus first.