Ever since the COVID-19 outbreak happened, the entire world is on an edge. With hundreds and thousands of deaths worldwide, and millions of infections, many world countries have outright blamed China for not doing enough to contain the virus at its inception. The first case of coronavirus was reported in Wuhan, declaring China has the origin country. While many conspiracies have since spun out, in a bid to shift blame ahead of WHO's investigation into the origin of the virus, Beijing is saying the virus originated in India or Bangladesh.
China's propaganda efforts are popularly known when it comes to saving its own skin. Now, a small team of Chinese researchers is trying to keep China in the clear although the reality largely differs. The Chinese Academy of Sciences researchers have claimed that the virus likely originated in India in the summer of 2019 - jumping from animals to humans via contaminated water. Then it traveled to Wuhan unnoticed, where it was first detected, DailyMail reported.
The researchers used phylogenetic analysis to trace the origin of the COVID-19 and based on this, they claim coronavirus could not have originated in Wuhan. Instead, Beijing has a host of other countries besides India to shift the blame to, including Bangladesh, the USA, Greece, Australia, India, Italy, Czech Republic, Russia or Serbia.
Narrowing down to India and Bangladesh is based on the argument that both countries are its neighbors and recorded samples with low mutations. China even went on to question India's healthcare system for the reason behind the virus spreading across the border unnoticed.
While it raises many questions like how the virus remained dormant all this while and didn't report a single case or symptoms/deaths until the pandemic broke, the fact that China easily and baselessly points fingers at others is a self-statement on its own. Earlier, Beijing had even blamed Italy, the US and Europe, of course without any evidence.
It is easier to call out other countries and try to shift the blame, but China, on an international platform, hasn't been able to convince the world of the same.
"I think it's highly speculative for us to say that the disease did not emerge in China," Mike Ryan said at a virtual briefing in Geneva after being asked if COVID-19 could have first emerged outside China. He further said WHO will send researchers to the Wuhan food market to probe the virus origins further.
China is clearly panicking as the world is closely watching and there haven't been any doubts about the origin of the virus. Beijing can hide behind these unproven theories, but it's unlikely to wash its hands off. US President Donald Trump has adamantly chosen to call COVID China virus or China Plague and many countries have advocated for stern actions against China for downplaying the risks of the pandemic in the early stages.
India, China relations
The latest accusations come amidst increased political tensions between India and China. Armies from both countries are in the middle of a face-off in Ladakh since May this year, despite trying to diffuse the situation through diplomatic channels. In June, things got tense when 20 Indian Army personnel were killed in a violent clash and China lost its troops too. Both sides had pulled back troops from Patrolling Points 14 in Galwan Valley and 15 in Gogra-Hot Springs by an equal distance as part of the first step of disengagement.