Researchers from China have claimed that Covid-10 originated in India, in the latest attempt by academics to pin the blame for the pandemic outside their borders.
A team of scientists from the Chinese Academy of Sciences stated that the virus likely originated in India in summer 2019 – jumping from animals to humans via contaminated water – before travelling unnoticed to Wuhan, where it was first detected, Lokmat reported.
It is not the first time that Chinese authorities have pointed the finger of blame elsewhere – suggesting, largely without evidence, that both Italy and the US could be the site of the original infection.
The latest allegations come on the backdrop of increased political tensions between India and China, with troops attacking each-other along a disputed border.
The WHO is currently looking for the source of coronavirus in China, while the body of scientific evidence suggests the disease originated there.
In their paper, the Chinese team uses phylogenetic analysis – a study of how a virus mutates – to attempt to trace the origins of Covid-19.
Researchers go on to argue that because India and Bangladesh both recorded samples with low mutations and are geographic neighbours, it is likely that the first transmission occurred there.