For the first time, Chinese experts have given a detailed explanation of the origin of COVID-19, claiming that Coronavirus was not developed in the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV).
Addressing a press conference in the State Council Information Office (SCIO) in Beijing, they said that the Chinese government had constituted a multidisciplinary research team to ascertain the origin of COVID-19.
Last July, Chinese and World Health Organization (WHO) experts had jointly formulated the Terms of Reference (TOR) for the research team to carry out the origin-tracing of COVID-19.
All other studies conducted worldwide to trace the origin of Coronavirus are being carried out in line with these TOR.
According to the multidisciplinary research team, the Coronaviruses found in bats and pangolins are most likely related to SARS-CoV-2 and share the highest homology with SARS-CoV-2 by sequencing.
However, neither of the viruses identified so far from these mammalian species is sufficiently similar to SARS-CoV-2 to serve as its direct progenitor. Although the homology is high, there is still much difference, the research team has concluded.