Beijing (China) | Jagran News Desk: As the world continues to grapple with the continuous spread of COVID-19 amid a shortage of vaccines in parts of the world, a coronavirus reportedly 96 per cent similar to SARS-CoV-2 has been found in China.

RaTG13 virus, discovered by China’s ‘Bat Lady’ Shi Zhengli, is said to be the second-closest virus to SARS-CoV-2 which causes COVID-19.

Why the discovery of new coronaviruses is significant?

The discovery of a new batch of coronaviruses is significant because there has been a growing demand to investigate China’s role in the COVID-19 outbreak, and whether the SARS-CoV-2 “escaped from lab” in Wuhan. The just-discovered virus strain has also been found in the bats whereas SARS-CoV-2 is also said to be originated in bats, before eventually jumping into humans.

Viruses closely related to SARS-CoV-2 continue to circulate: Chinese researchers

Chinese researchers have claimed that the viruses closely related to SARS-CoV-2 continue to circulate in the bat populations in and out of China.

"Together with the SARS-CoV-2 related virus collected from Thailand in June 2020, these results clearly demonstrate that viruses closely related to SARS-CoV-2 continue to circulate in bat populations, and in some regions might occur at a relatively high frequency," wrote the researchers.

Global call to investigate COVID-19 origins

As China continues to label lab-leak theories ‘absurd’, Secretary Blinken of the US urged transparency into Chinese coronavirus researches. This was followed by a move in the G-7 conclave in Cornwall, England, by British PM Boris Johnson and the US President Joe Biden to further investigate COVID-19 origins in China.

‘Wuhan lab deleted data to hide lab-leak origin of virus’: Report

A series of papers put in the public domain by a group that calls itself DRASTIC – Decentralised Radical Autonomous Search Team – has claimed that a section of Wuhan Institute of Virology’s database was taken down on 12 September 2019, weeks before the first COVID-19 case was detected. The database, whose administrator was Shi Zhengli herself, had crucial information on Coronavirus researches which were ongoing in the lab.

Posted By: Mukul Sharma