Claims that coronavirus came from a wild animal market have been challenged by a new study, it is reported.
China has always insisted that the outbreak began in a so-called wet market in Wuhan, where live animals were being sold.
But analysis of data by an expert scientist points to the virus having been taken into the market by someone already carrying the disease, according to the Mail on Sunday.
Alina Chan, a molecular biologist, and Shing Zhan, an evolutionary biologist told them: “The publicly available genetic data does not point to cross-species transmission of the virus at the market.”
Health authorities in Beijing believe the virus came from an animal in Huanan market, Wuhan.
The market was closed by officials a day after the World Health Organisation was informed.
It is believed samples from animals were taken but results have not been shared, even now.
Guan Yi, a University of Hong Kong expert, said: “The crime scene was completely gone.
“How can we solve a case without evidence?”
Earlier this month the World Health Organisation said the “focus of the research” was on transmission from animals.
Donald Trump has previously claimed he had “seen evidence” that Covid-19 came from a lab.
He declined to describe the evidence, but his remarks will ratchet up tensions with Beijing over the origins of the deadly disease.
US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, also claimed earlier this month that there was “enormous evidence” coronavirus originated in a Chinese laboratory.
Boris Johnson ’s official spokesman has previously said: “There are clearly questions that need to be answered about the origin and spread of the virus, not least so we can ensure that we are best prepared for future global pandemics.
“This work will need to be done with all of our international partners.”