VENU G S, KOLLAM
As the second wave of COVID-19 is surging across the world, the mystery about the origin of the novel coronavirus has not been solved so far. The world seems to be confused by the results of the World Health Organisation (WHO)-China joint study on the origin of the virus. Unbiased investigation is impossible when there is lack of cooperation from the country where the virus is suspected to have originated. It has been more than a year since the COVID-19 pandemic hit countries around the world. However, the origin of the virus is still shrouded in mystery. Initially, many theorists alleged that the virus was lab-made and purposely released into the world as a bio-weapon. However, this theory was rejected because the virus is genetically related to coronavirus found in bats. But some experts argue that a research lab studying bat viruses may have spread the virus. The WHO released its report on the origin and spread of the virus. The report states that the virus probably spread from bats to humans via another animal but the report does not clarify if the virus then spread from the lab in Wuhan, China. After the release of the report, WHO chief Ghebreyesus said the evidence was not enough to support the accidental lab leak theory and that Wuhan lab leak possibility needed to be studied again. He made these comments following the accusations levelled at Beijing by the US and 13 other countries of failing to give proper access to the investigators. The WHO’s efforts create the impression that it wants to absolve China of any blame and open up new lines of investigations that lead researchers out of China. Allegations have been levelled at China of trying to hush up earlier instances of COVID infection. It is believed that the virus was circulating in humans months before the first case was reported. However, WHO rejected these allegations. It must be understood that the Chinese authorities had tried to silence the doctor who tried to warn about a mystery infection. While China cannot be held responsible for the origin of the virus without concrete evidence, its secretive ways cast suspicion on its role in its origin.