Is coronavirus a bio-weapon made in China? Answer via science
New Delhi : Novel coronavirus (Covid-19) has thrown the life out of gear in many places across the world; a lot of conspiracy theories are being attached to it, including it may be a bio-weapon used by China against the world.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has tagged the situation as a spread of "infodemic" amid COVID-19, which means a lot of information is being shared about the coronavirus and most of it is based on incorrect grounds.
But, it becomes hard for people to not accept the luring information in the situation of crisis. Anyone is bound to fall for misinformation or get influenced by it.
Let's focus on the most common theory that is being circulated across the world; it says coronavirus pandemic has been created by China against the United States.
In fact, recently, a lawsuit has been filed in the US under which the petitioner has accused China or using a bio-weapon Novel Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) against the US. The petitioners have demanded USD 20 trillion from China, which is more than the GDP of the latter.
But, the researchers and research papers have a different opinion. A research paper titled "The proximal origin of SARS-CoV-2" has claimed that all such theories are incorrect and does not have any scientific ground.
How did such theories emerge?
The novel coronavirus was first spotted in Wuhan (China) in December last year, and then it went on to spread across the world, majorly hitting the United States and Italy. Currently, more than 7 lakh people are infected with the virus and more than 35000 people have died of it. While the number of positive coronavirus cases is rising everywhere, China has recovered drastically despite the fact that it was the epicenter of the outbreak.
China's progress and global economic slowdown due to COVID-19 stimulated the theories worldwide that the virus is a conspiracy or a bio-weapon of China to harm other countries and was created in a laboratory.
These theories are created on Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms and gain relevance after most people shared it making it look like authentic information.
Research Paper on bio-weapon theory
As per "The proximal origin of SARS-CoV-2" paper published on 17th March 2020 in Nature journal, the Novel Coronavirus or SARS-CoV-2 is the seventh from the family of Coronavirus to infect human beings. The other six viruses are HKU1, NL63, OC43, 229E, SARS-CoV, and MERS-CoV. Of these 6 Coronavirus, the first four are harmless and result in mere mild symptoms in humans. The last two SARS-CoV, and MERS-CoV and the recent SARS-CoV-2 are critical of them all and have caused pandemic in the last 18 years.
The research paper has clearly mentioned that it is not man-made virus.
What is a Bio-Weapon?
Bio-Weapons or Biological weapons are agents like Bacteria or Virus which are released deliberately to harm humans, animals or plants and cause deaths. United Nations has banned the use of bio-weapon.