The Covid pandemic’s origin has been a subject of debate for a very long time. The Atlantic has now reported that, according to an international team of virus experts, raccoon dogs from Wuhan market in China may have been the source of the outbreak.
According to the analysis by the experts, the virus may have been sparked by an infected animal that was being traded illegally as part of the wildlife trade.
As per the report, in January 2020, swabs from within and around the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market were used to collect the genetic data. This came shortly after the Chinese authorities had shut down the market because of suspicions that it was linked to the outbreak of a new virus.
Though the animals from the market were cleared out, but the researchers collected swabs from walls, floors, metal cages and carts. After testing, the samples came back positive for Coronavirus.
Three scientists who were involved in the analysis indicated that the genetic material belonged to animals, with significant amounts that matched the raccoon dog, reported the Atlantic.
The genetic samples from the market were added to a global database, however, were later deleted after the scientists questioned China about them, the report has stated.
However, the genetic material from the virus and the animal does not prove that a raccoon dog itself was infected. Even if a raccoon dog had the virus, it is not clear if the animal had exposed humans to it. The virus may have been transferred from another animal to people or maybe someone infected with the virus could have spread the virus to a raccoon dog, it stated
Earlier, the ‘COVID-origin theories’ was widely debated after FBI Director, Christopher Wray, publicly stated that the bureau believed Covid-19 was most likely originated in a “Chinese government-controlled lab,” however, in response, Beijing accused Washington of “political manipulation.” While responding to comments made by FBI Director, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning said the involvement of the US intelligence community was evidence enough of the “politicization of origin tracing.”
The World Health Organisation (WHO) too had urged all countries of the world to gather intelligence about the origins of the Covid-19 virus and share that with the global health body. The global health agency also added that the information about the origins of Covid 19 virus is not about blaming someone, but more about advancing our understanding of how this pandemic started.