Scientists of a laboratory in Wuhan in China, where the cases were first Covid-19 cases and the Covid-19 pandemic has been theorized to have originated, in a new video, revealed that they had been bitten by bats who may have been infected.
While the SARS-Cov-2 virus or Covid-19 emerged in Wuhan in end 2019, around late Autumn, the video is dated much earlier – from 2017. The video, which is almost two years before the coronavirus pandemic struck Wuhan, and then later the world, shows Wuhan Institute of Virology scientists working on ‘live viruses’ without a PPE kit. This was apparently a breach of the World Health Organisation safety rules on PPE, according to Business Today.
According to a report in Mail Online, a researcher in the video says that “one animal’s fangs had gone through his rubber gloves like a needle” while he was collecting samples in a cave.
One scientist can even be seen holding a bat with his bare hands in the video, reports the news portal. The video also then cuts to a person’s limb showing swelling from another bite. The narrator of the video points out the fact that bats can carry a variety of potent viruses, reports The Taiwan Times.
The footage was captured by a Chinese TV crew and broadcast in 2017, reports The Sun.
These revelations raise the possibility that the scientists may have become infected with a coronavirus from the bat bite, and it could even be the virus we now identify as Covid-19, and may explain how the virus jumped from bats to humans in the first place. The video, however, isn’t available online and the logo suggests it is from ‘CCTV-13,’ a news channel of China Central Television and the biggest news channel on mainland China.
The video, however, raises questions for the WHO team which is investigating the first place the virus was found: at a Wuhan wet sea-food market.
The 13-member WHO team which arrived in Wuhan on to probe the origins of COVID-19 are currently put up in a hotel in Wuhan to serve 14-day quarantine.
Their site visits in Wuhan, where the virus first emerged in December 2019, are expected to include the WIV and the wet market, where the deadly virus was suspected to have been transmitted from live animals like bats to humans. The market remained closed and sealed since early last year. The WHO team’s visit has become a bone of contention as Beijing, which questions the widely-held view about the virus’ origins in Wuhan, delayed granting permission to it. China says the virus has appeared in many places in the world and it only reported first in Wuhan.