Chinese virologist turned whistleblower, Dr Li-Meng Yan, has claimed that the novel coronavirus was made at a government-controlled laboratory in Wuhan and that reports of the virus originating at a seafood market in Wuhan are a "smokescreen". She even said that she has evidence to back her claim.
Speaking at a British talk show 'Loose Women', Dr Li-Meng said, "It (COVID-19) is based on the China military institute discovery and owned some bad coronavirus named CC45 and ZXC21 and based on that after lab modification becomes the novel virus." "The seafood market in Wuhan and all the intermediate hosts, these are the smokescreen and this virus is not from nature," she added. Dr Li-Meng further said that the Chinese officials knew that human-to-human transmission of the virus already existed.
The virologist also claimed of having evidence. "I have my intelligence from the CDCs in China, from local doctors and other people around China," she said.
When asked where does she think the virus originated from, Dr Li-Meng asserted, "It comes from the lab. The lab in Wuhan which is controlled by the Chinese government."
Dr Li-Meng Yan, who previously worked at the Hong Kong School of Public Health, was allegedly forced to flee to the United States over safety concerns. Earlier, she had turned whistleblower and said that the Chinese government knew about the novel coronavirus well before it claimed it did.
She had also said that her supervisors also ignored research she was doing at the beginning of the pandemic that she believes could have saved lives.
Meanwhile, the overall number of global coronavirus cases has topped 28.8 million, while the deaths have increased to over 922,000, according to the Johns Hopkins University.
As of Monday morning, the total number of cases stood at 28,891,676 and the fatalities rose to 922,441, the University's Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) revealed in its latest update.
The US accounted for the world's highest number of cases and deaths at 6,519,121 and 194,041 respectively, according to the CSSE.
India is currently in the second place in terms of cases at 4,754,356, while the country's death toll stood at 78,586.
In terms of cases, Brazil ranks third (4,330,455), and is followed by Russia (1,059,024), Peru (722,832), Colombia (708,964), Mexico (668,381), South Africa (649,793), Spain (566,326), Argentina (555,537), Chile (434,748), France (402,893), Iran (402,029), the UK (370,928), Bangladesh (337,520), Saudi Arabia (325,651), Pakistan (301,481), Turkey (291,162), Iraq (290,309), Italy (287,753), Germany (261,737), Philippines (261,216), Indonesia (218,382), Ukraine (158,122), Israel (155,604), Canada (138,640), Bolivia (125,982), Qatar (121,740), Ecuador (118,594), Kazakhstan (106,803), Dominican Republic (103,660), Romania (103,495), Panama (101,745) and Egypt (101,009), the CSSE figures showed.
The other countries with over 10,000 deaths are the Brazil (131,625), Mexico (70,821), the UK (41,717), Italy (35,610), France (30,903), Peru (30,526), Spain (29,747), Iran (23,157), Colombia (22,734), Russia (18,517), South Africa (15,447), Chile (11,949), Argentina (11,352) and Ecuador (10,864).
(With IANS inputs)