We will use your email address only for sending you newsletters. Please see our Privacy Notice for details of your data protection rights.
Beijing official Liu Dengfeng admitted China had destroyed early samples of the deadly virus in a pathogen laboratory. The official, speaking on Friday, stated that it was done for bio-safety reasons. The official with the National Health Commission’s science and education department said this was done to “prevent the risk to laboratory biological safety and prevent secondary disasters caused by unidentified pathogens”.
The announcement has been seen by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo as confirmation China was covering up the then unidentified virus and that it adds weight to the claim the virus was leaked from a high-security laboratory.
Liu Dengfeng said at a briefing in Beijing “the remarks made by some US officials were taken out of context and intended to confuse”.
The communist state official added when the pneumonia-like illness was first reported in Wuhan, “national-level professional institutes” were working to identify the pathogen that was causing it.
He said: “Based on comprehensive research and expert opinion, we decided to temporarily manage the pathogen as Class II, highly pathogenic.
“We then imposed biosafety requirements on sample collection, transport, and experimental activities, as well as destroying the samples.”
Mr Liu added destroying samples after they were studied was an official procedure for highly contagious pathogens like Covid-19.
But, the news has not de-escalated claims in the US that China did not share their information on the virus at the early stages of the infection in the country.
The protocol is two inform the WHO with exact information on a newly discovered viral strain within 48 hours. Beijing took weeks to do this.
Children to be tested for coronavirus to keep schools open [ANALYSIS]
Coronavirus UK: What is the new UK R rate? [UPDATE]
School reopening: ‘Teachers know’ children missing out says Williamson [INSIGHT]
The news has increased calls, particularly from within the US for China to become more transparent and allow an international body to lead an inquiry into how the pandemic managed to spread from Wuhan.
The news of the destroyed samples will prove difficult for the Beijing propaganda machine to explain as the samples that were destroyed were identified as a new SARS type strain as early as December 2019.
The fact that information on the samples was not shared and the samples destroyed will be used as proof in Washington that China was trying to cover-up the deadly nature of this new viral agent.
But, Beijing argues that some of the samples were sent to “unauthorised laboratories” and that these had to be destroyed in line with regulations.
But, these gene testing facilities found that the virus was from the same family as SARS as early as December 27.
Under World Health Organisation guidelines the international body should have been informed of this within 48 hours, but the WHO has yet to make an official complaint about China’s slow reaction, leading many to suggest the medical body is compromised by Beijing’s interests.
At present, worldwide, more than 4.35 million people have tested positive for the virus and at least 297,000 have died.
Source: Read Full Article