Beijing/Washington, May 24
Three researchers from the Wuhan Institute of Virology sought hospital care in November 2019, weeks before Beijing disclosed the Covid-19 pandemic, a US media report said, citing a previously undisclosed American intelligence document that could add weight to growing calls for a full scale probe of whether the Covid may have escaped from China’s top bio lab.
The details of the reporting go beyond a State Department fact sheet, issued during the final days of the Trump administration, which said that several researchers at the Wuhan lab, a center for the study of coronaviruses and other pathogens, became sick in autumn 2019 “with symptoms consistent with both Covid-19 and common seasonal illness”, the Wall Street Journal reported.
“Three researchers from China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology became sick enough in November 2019 that they sought hospital care,” the paper said. China, however, denied the WSJ report on Monday, with Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian saying the WIV released a statement on March 23 that made it clear that there were zero Covid-19 infections at the institute. — PTI