Flinders’ University Professor Nikolai Petrovsky has told Sky News there are fears a bat virus discovered by the Wuhan Institute of Virology was tampered with to create the COVID-19 virus.
It is believed the closest genetic relative of COVID-19 is the RaTG13 virus founded by researchers from the Wuhan Laboratory in 2013. Professor Petrovsky said the possibility of the RaTG13 being manipulated to make COVID-19 is clearly a concern. He told Sky News host Sharri Markson there are differences between the bat virus RaTG13 and COVID-19. “There are several other elements that don’t seem to fit with (COVID-19) being a direct descendant of the bat coronavirus”.
“Either a whole lot of viruses have mixed in nature to get these new elements or the other potential explanation is someone has put those elements directly into the original bat virus”. Professor Petrovsky said scientists across the globe still can’t properly determine how COVID-19 emerged. “Was it a natural event or a scientific experiment gone wrong”.