It could take up to two years to find out the exact origins of the novel coronavirus, Head of the Novosibirsk State University’s Laboratory and corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) Sergey Netesov told Sputnik.
Novosibirsk: “I think it will take months, not days, maybe a year or two. There is a lot to study. The fact is that what happened, just like the occurrence of the SARS virus, is a very rare natural event,” Netesov said.
He added that specialists in different countries are working on resolving the mystery of how the virus switched from an animal host to humans.
“There is even a fundamental investigation underway in the United States related to the fact that it is necessary to study as many coronaviruses as possible, which live in bats and pets,” Netesov told Sputnik, explaining that different intermediary hosts for various coronaviruses include cows, palm civets, raccoon dogs, and other small mammals.
US President Joe Biden has ordered the US intelligence community to produce a report reexamining the origins of the coronavirus and determining whether the disease leaked from a lab or spread from an infected animal to a human.
China continues to call the laboratory-leak theory a conspiracy.
In January, international experts traveled to Wuhan where they examined a laboratory, hospitals and markets for clues on the origins of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. The expert mission of the World Health Organization (WHO) then compiled a report, saying that a leak of the new coronavirus from a laboratory in Wuhan, the first hotbed of COVID-19, was very unlikely. The report, released in March, said that the new virus was most likely transmitted to humans from bats through an intermediary host.