Inside Asia's Largest Virus Bank In Wuhan, Now Investigated By US

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Though the institute, located quite close to the Wuhan wet market, is China's first bio-safety level IV lab, the USA state department had warned in 2018 about "serious shortage of appropriately trained technicians and investigators needed to safely operate this high-containment laboratory".

President Trump on Friday insisted that China must have the most coronavirus deaths in the world given its size and the fact the pathogen sprung from one of its major cities at the end of previous year.

Wuhan's 11 million residents spent months in strict lockdown conditions, which have only recently been eased.

His secretary of state Mike Pompeo has said Beijing "needs to come clean" on what they know.

"We don't have the most in the world - deaths".

It said it received samples of the then-unknown virus on December 30, determined the viral genome sequence on January 2 and submitted information on the pathogen to the World Health Organization on January 11.

Wuhan authorities cited several reasons for the missed cases, including that the city's medical staff were overwhelmed in the early days as infections climbed, leading to "late reporting, omissions or mis-reporting".

As other countries struggle with the virus, Beijing has faced mounting criticism that it suppressed early information about the outbreak, allowing the virus to spread.

"We don't have the-most-in-the-world deaths", Trump said during Friday's briefing of the White House coronavirus task force.

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Researchers found that the first human case of coronavirus might have originated somewhere in southern China.

Around that time, a doctor who tried to warn his colleagues about an outbreak of a Sars-like virus was silenced by the authorities.

US President Donald Trump has questioned China's handling of the pandemic and whether it had been completely transparent since the virus emerged in the central city of Wuhan late previous year.

The revision comes after weeks of scepticism, from both within and outside of China, over the officially reported figures.

"They talk about a certain kind of bat, but that bat wasn't in that area if you can believe this", he claimed.

"I think they are all smearing China and cooking up stories about China", he said, without specifying which countries he was referring to.

Since last Wednesday Fox News shared information on the hypotheses of the United States authorities, who believe that the infectious agent originated in a laboratory not as a biological weapon, but as part of China's efforts to show its ability to fight new diseases.

More than half of British people believe that China is responsible for the fast spread of novel coronavirus, a new poll suggests.

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