Covid 'Patient Zero' may have been a Wuhan lab worker, WHO chief claims
The idea that the virus originated in a Wuhan lab had previously been described as "extremely unlikely."
The chief of the World Health Organisation (WHO) has described the theory that the first person to be infected with Covid-19 could have been a Wuhan laboratory employee as being in the "probable category."
Dr Peter Embarek was the man who led the WHO's four-week investigation into the origins of the virus, and in the past had labelled the theory that the virus began life in a laboratory as "extremely unlikely."
But Dr Embarek has now revealed that this is a possibility and that a lab worker in Wuhan could have been infected by a bat.
He told Denmark Tv station TV2: "An employee who was infected in the field by taking samples falls under one of the probable hypotheses.
"This is where the virus jumps directly from a bat to a human. In that case, it would then be a laboratory worker instead of a random villager or other person who has regular contact with bats
"So it is actually in the probable category."
He did go on to say that the WHO team found no direct evidence that the virus was linked to bat research being conducted at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
Most specialists and experts do not think a lab leak is the likely source of Covid-19, but the origin of the virus remains up for debate.
China has consistently dismissed the lab leak theory, with the director of the biosafety lab at the Wuhan Institute of Virology saying that they had not stored or studied the new coronavirus before the outbreak.
In June he said: "I want to emphasise that .... the Wuhan Institute of Virology has never designed, made or leaked the novel coronavirus."