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WHO refute claims Covid-19 was created in Chinese labs

The World Health Organization is strongly refuting claims that the coronavirus was manufactured in a Chinese laboratory.

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A number of unsubstantiated theories as to the virus’ origins have been circulating. Source: 1 NEWS

It's one of multiple unsubstantiated claims circulating as the world demand answers around the origins of Covid-19.

Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne has joined the likes of US President Donald Trump in calling for an inquiry into China's handling of the pandemic. 

Rumours and conspiracies into the virus' outbreak have been widespread as the world battles Covid-19.

It's known that coronavirus originated in Wuhan, China, linked to a wet market and studies showing it most likely originated in bats.

But there have been several unsubstantiated claims that the virus was made in a Wuhan laboratory, a claim rejected by both China and the WHO.

The claims, cited by Mr Trump, were that the naturally formed virus could have escaped from a research lab in Wuhan.

They were fueled by reports in the Washington Post that US officials were worried about safety at one Wuhan facility, where bat coronaviruses were being studied.

"They have no evidence, nor any logical relations to make such a claim," Yuan Zhiming of the Wuhan Institute of Virology says.

"It was entirely based on speculation. As a science and technology manager, I have been engaged in laboratory biosafety management and scientific research project management for a long time, and I know it's impossible.

"I can tell you for sure that none of our retirees, students or any of our staff has been infected."

Kiwi virologist Lance Jennings concurs, telling 1 NEWS, "The evidence we have available at the present time clearly suggests the virus has not escaped from a laboratory.

"It's not through manipulation of a known virus and it's most likely evolved from an animal source."

Mr Jennings adds that more research is needed to fill in the gaps around the origins of Covid-19.