A Chinese virologist who has alleged that coronavirus is a man-made disease created in a lab in China released a report on Monday which she claims backs up her explosive claim.
Dr Li-Meng Yan, a former researcher at the Hong Kong School of Public Health, believes she has proven how SARS-CoV-2, the deadly strain of coronavirus, could be "conveniently created" in a laboratory setting in just six months.
The scientist posted a paper on the open-access repository website Zenote, co-authored with two others, titled "Unusual Features of the SARS-CoV-2 Genome Suggesting Sophisticated Laboratory Modification Rather Than Natural Evolution and Delineation of Its Probable Synthetic Route".
It claims to note how Covid-19 "shows biological characteristics that are inconsistent with a naturally occurring, zoonotic virus," indicating the disease was manmade.
Dr Yan's paper comes after the whistleblower gave an interview to Loose Women on Friday in which she repeated her claims that coronavirus "comes from the lab – the lab in Wuhan and the lab is controlled by China's government".
She insisted the common belief that Covid-19 originated last year from a Wuhan wet market is "a smokescreen," adding: "This virus is not from nature."
The virologist, who claims to have done some of the earliest research into the deadly disease last year, has previously accused Beijing of lying about when it learned of the killer bug and engaging in an extensive cover-up of her work.
In April, Dr Yan reportedly fled Hong Kong and escaped to the US to raise awareness about the pandemic.
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She is said to have been hiding in fear for her safety, and claims her former supervisors at the Hong Kong School of Public Health, a reference laboratory for the World Health Organisation, silenced her when she sounded the alarm about human-to-human transmission in December last year.
Yan said before she fled China, her details were wiped from government databases.
She claimed: "They deleted all my information and also they told people to spread rumours about me.
"That I'm a liar, I don't know anything, I just killed a hamster in the lab.
"They will try to control my family and friends and then suddenly I don't exist."
But the laboratory has denied Yan's allegations, and claimed she never "conducted any research on human-to-human transmission," adding that her assertions have "no scientific basis".
Yuan Zhiming, director of the Wuhan Institute of Virology, has previously denied claims the bug accidentally spread from his facility.
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