MOSCOW, February 20. /TASS/. Medical experts from Germany, the Netherlands, the US and other nations debunked rumors of unnatural origin of the COVID-19 coronavirus, according to Xinhua report citing The Lancet journal.
"We stand together to strongly condemn conspiracy theories suggesting that COVID-19 does not have a natural origin," the 27 scientists say in their joint statement. "Conspiracy theories do nothing but create fear, rumors, and prejudice that jeopardize our global collaboration in the fight against this virus."
Earlier, some media speculated that the virus could have originated from a laboratory.
The Chinese authorities registered an outbreak of the novel coronavirus 2019-nCoV in the city of Wuhan. Outside China, cases of new coronavirus were confirmed in 25 other countries and territories, including in Russia. The World Health Organization declared the coronavirus outbreak a public health emergency of international concern.
In late December 2019, an outbreak of the pulmonary disease caused by the COVID-19 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV) was reported in China’s city of Wuhan, an economic and industrial megacity with a population of 11 million. The World Health Organization declared the outbreak a public health emergency of international concern, characterizing it as an epidemic with multiple locations. Apart from China, 25 other countries, including Russia, have reported confirmed coronavirus cases.
According to Thursday morning data, the number of lethal cases in China grew to 2118 people, while more than 16,100 people have recovered. The total amount of infection cases is more than 74,500.