TODAY |

Australian professor details how Covid-19 could have leaked from Wuhan lab

An Australian endocrinologist says the possibility the virus that causes Covid-19 was leaked from a Wuhan laboratory is something he “can’t discount.”

Your playlist will load after this ad

Flinders University endocrinologist Nikolai Petrovsky says an animal source for the virus hasn't been found. Source: Q+A

The source of SARS-Cov2 has been continually debated, with US President Joe Biden last month ordering an intelligence report on the topic, despite a World Health Organization (WHO) team travelling to Wuhan to investigate earlier this year.

Nikolai Petrovsky, a Professor of Medicine at Adelaide’s Flinders University, believes the theory that the virus was leaked from a laboratory has merit.

“The only way to discount the lab leak theory is to prove the alternative, which is that this came from an intermediate animal source,” he said.

“No such animal source has been found.”

Petrovsky offers a number of scenarios that could have lead to a leak, including the infecting of a researcher collecting samples from bat caves and the culturing of the virus in a lab itself.

“There’s a lot of different routes that could be involved in a lab leak-type scenario,” he added.

His view is in stark contrast to that of Professor Dominic Dwyer, who was part of the WHO team sent to Wuhan.

Dwyer told Q+A back in March that it was “extremely unlikely” the virus could have been spread via a lab leak and pointed to animals as the more plausible source.

Petrovsky, however, questions the validity of the investigation itself, explaining that it wasn’t an investigation in the “true sense".

"Really, that whole mission was more of a scientific exchange between China and the WHO," he said.

See the full interview with Nikolai Petrovsky tomorrow on Q+A from 9am, TVNZ 1.