Did the virus escape from a Wuhan lab? | Updated: 2020-04-28 11:10

The following is one of the 16 most common rumors about the COVID-19 epidemic related to China, compiled and published by the Chinese embassy in Germany. The original version was published in Chinese and German. China Daily did some minor editing and updated a few figures in translation.

Wuhan Institute of Virology [Photo from the internet]

Rumor: The SARS-CoV-2 was released as the result of lab accident at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

Fact: The Wuhan Institute of Virology has nothing to do with the virus' origin.

Established in 1956, the institute is the top virology research agency in China and home to Asia's highest-level biosafety lab. The institute's P4 biosecurity lab can handle the deadliest pathogens in the world. The laboratory is about 30 kilometers away from the center of Wuhan. It is impossible for the virus to leak from such a high-security laboratory, said Yuan Zhiming, a researcher at Wuhan Institute of Virology, in an interview with CGTN on April 18. He said there is no way the virus could have originated from the institute. Before accepting the first batch of test samples of COVID-19 patients on Dec 30, the institute's labs did not have the novel coronavirus. As of now, no one in the institute has contracted COVID-19. It is understandable that people would have speculation about the institute, he said. But if some people try to deliberately mislead the public, their behavior is repugnant. Click the link below to watch the interview:

EcoHealth Alliance is a non-profit organization based in New York. The chairman of the alliance, Peter Daszak, is responsible for studying emerging infectious diseases worldwide and has been cooperating with the Wuhan Institute of Virology for 15 years. In an interview with the American news website DemocracyNow on April 16, Dashyak said that the claim that the novel coronavirus escaped from the laboratory was pure nonsense. There is no virus cultivation related to the new coronavirus in the laboratory of the Wuhan Institute of Virology, therefore the so-called laboratory leak is impossible.

American journalists Max Blumenthal and Ajit Singh wrote a report on the Grayzone on April 20 that the conspiracy theory about the virus escaping from China's Wuhan Institute of Virology is Trump administration's weapon of false information. It recalls the successful disinformation campaign launched by neoconservatives in the George W. Bush administration about Iraq having weapons of mass destruction. Although such weapons of mass destruction were never found, the US used them as excuses to invade Iraq nonetheless.

Please feel free to contact us by sending your questions to or commenting on China Daily app. We will ask experts to answer them.

Editor's picks
Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349