In 2018, a group of scientists from the Chinese city of Wuhan, where the first case of covid-19 was recorded, is planning to infect cave-dwelling bats with modified coronaviruses.
Scientists will have asked for 14 million dollars to carry out a project about 18 months before the official announcement of the covid-19 outbreak, reports the newspaper The Telegraph, which cites several documents.
According to the paper, scientists in Wuhan are planning to deploy the modified airborne coronaviruses in bat habitats in China, so that they create immunity and it was possible to protect them of diseases that can be transmitted to humans.
The researchers wanted, the documents indicate, to introduce through the animals’ skin “nanoparticles that contain new chimeric S proteins” of coronaviruses into caves in the Chinese province of Yunnan. In addition, scientists wanted to create chimeric viruses genetically engineered to more easily infect humans.
Although the experts wanted hold educational events to inform the population of their work, they were refused the requested funding on the grounds that the experience “could endanger local residents”, the website says.
Formerly to China denied the theory several times the emergence of covid-19 in Wuhan’s laboratory.
In March, the World Health Organization published the full version of the report prepared by the international team, which says that the leaked version of the virus from the Chinese laboratory is “unlikely”.
WHO suggests that the SARS-CoV-2 virus that the virus was likely transmitted from bats to humans through another animal.