British intelligence believes COVID-19 lab leak theory 'feasible': Report

economictimes.indiatimes.com
4 min read
fairly difficult
The origins of the COVID-19 remain a widely debated topic, with some scientists and politicians maintaining that the possibility of a lab leak of the deadly virus exists.
British intelligence agencies now believe it is "feasible" that the COVID-19 pandemic began with a coronavirus leak from a Chinese laboratory, a media report said on Sunday, prompting UK's Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawi to demand that the WHO must fully investigate the origins of the deadly virus.Western intelligence, including in Britain, at first considered there was only a "remote" chance that it had leaked from the laboratory, where research is conducted into bat-derived coronaviruses, including one closely associated with COVID-19. But there has since been a reassessment, and a lab escape is thought "feasible", the Sunday Times reported, citing sources.China's Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) is near the outbreak's known epicentre of Huanan Seafood Market in Wuhan, where the virus first emerged in late 2019 and became a pandemic. More than 168 million confirmed cases have since been confirmed worldwide and at least 3.5 million deaths reported."There might be pockets of evidence that take us one way, and evidence that takes us another way. The Chinese will lie either way. I don't think we will ever know," said a western intelligence source familiar with UK involvement in the investigation.Agencies are believed to have few human intelligence sources in China . Gathering data there has focused on trying to recruit on the dark web, where Chinese employees can share secrets anonymously without fear of being caught, the paper said.Citing US diplomatic sources, the paper said there were concerns that if the…
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