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AFP
July 10, 2020

China offers glimpse inside lab near Wuhan virus origin

World

AFP
July 10, 2020

BEIJING: Chinese state media has offered a rare glimpse of the lab at the heart of coronavirus conspiracy theories, as it seeks to push back against claims the facility was the source of the global pandemic. President Donald Trump and other US figures have repeatedly suggested the virus could have leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, or even been deliberately produced there. Footage broadcast by state-run CCTV is believed to be the first from within the institute’s P4 lab — for highly-dangerous Class 4 pathogens — since its inauguration in 2017. However, it offered no new information on the lab’s workings. It included only a few brief shots of actual laboratory areas, taken through thick glass windows. The report said safety protocols prevented closer access. The piece focussed instead on rebutting leak suspicions. “There have been no accidents of pathogen leaks or human infections” from the lab, said Yuan Zhiming, director of the Wuhan National Biosafety Laboratory. “An outbreak and pandemic caused by any infectious disease is bound to be the focus of public attention.