Covid-19: the trail of a laboratory leak is back


The Covid-19 health crisis is still in full swing and the hypothesis of a virus made in the laboratory is resurfacing again. Scientists have asked China to provide missing data in order to clarify this story.

The Covid-19 virus from a laboratory

It is a hypothesis that often comes to the fore: Covd-19 is a virus made in the laboratory and its spread, the result of a handling error. From the start of the health crisis, this track had been ruled out but it comes back often in the minds of scientific authorities. This track gained credibility with the publication, on March 30, 2021, of the report of the first WHO fact-finding mission to China and particularly to Wuhan, the epicenter of the crisis.

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director of the World Health Organization (WHO), himself refused to rule out this possibility of a virus made in the laboratory. In its report, the team had nevertheless concluded that the hypothesis of a laboratory leak was “ the least probable “. However, the report balanced this view by recalling that “ more data and studies were needed to reach more robust conclusions, potentially with additional missions involving specialized experts, which I am ready to deploy “.

Scientists call for missing data

The hypothesis is becoming more and more probable and an international group of scientists, nicknamed “the Paris group”, have been claiming since the beginning of the year 2021, a more rigorous investigation and greater transparency on the part of the Chinese authorities who are accused of not transmitting all the information.

The Paris group published on Friday April 30, 2021 a survey methodology, which highlights the questions to be asked and the resources necessary to elucidate the missing pieces. The document also offers various scenarios that could illustrate how the virus may have emerged from the Wuhan laboratory.