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People's Daily Online

No evidence that novel coronavirus was man-made in China: UK Health Secretary

People's Daily Online

(Xinhua) 08:23, May 08, 2020

"We have looked into this but we don't have any evidence that this is a man-made coronavirus."

LONDON, May 7 (Xinhua) -- The British government has not seen any evidence to suggest that the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 was man-made, Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said.

Hancock made the remark while attending a Q&A program with Sky News on Wednesday to answer questions from the broadcaster's viewers and readers on coronavirus.

Asked by viewer John Fletcher whether there is any link between the virus and laboratories researching virus in China's Wuhan, the secretary said: "well, we have looked into this but we don't have any evidence that this is a man-made coronavirus."

"I understand what John (the viewer) is getting at but we haven't seen any evidence of that link," he added.

Hancock was then asked about why U.S. President Donald Trump had pushed the theory and whether Americans shared any evidence with their British counterpart.

He said: "We haven't seen any evidence of a link and so there is nothing I have seen that confirms the discussion, the allegation that John is referring to that I know some people are talking about."

Meanwhile, on May 1, the World Health Organization (WHO) reiterated that the coronavirus which causes COVID-19 is "natural in origin."

Michael Ryan, executive director of the WHO Health Emergencies Program, told a virtual press conference from Geneva that scientists who are examining the genetic sequences of the virus have assured "again and again that this virus is natural in origin."

Last month, the WHO said that all available evidence has suggested that the new coronavirus has an animal origin, and is not a virus "manipulated or constructed" in a lab or somewhere else.

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