Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Bipin Rawat on Friday said it was not proper to conclude that the coronavirus is the result of biological warfare and there was a need to wait for finding the answer about its origin. He made the comments while replying to a question on the issue at a press conference in presence of the three service chiefs.
“It is not proper to conclude that the novel coronavirus outbreak is the result of a biological warfare. The whole world is trying to find out the answer,” the Chief of Defence Staff said.
US President Donald Trump had earlier said that the deadly virus originated from a virology lab in China’s Wuhan city before it spread across the world and claimed over 2,33,000 lives and shattered global economies.
But Trump’s comments undercut a rare public statement from his own intelligence community, which stated no such assessment has been made by them whether the COVID-19 outbreak began through contact with infected animals or if it was the result of an accident at a laboratory in Wuhan.
Ever since the virus outbreak came to light in Wuhan in December, speculation has been rife on whether the viral strain originated from China’s premier Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) or from its nearby Huanan Seafood Market. The US has launched an investigation into whether the deadly virus “escaped” from the WIV.
China has strongly rejected the allegations.
On whether India was looking for an investigation into the origin of coronavirus amid allegations of China’s culpability over it, government sources said: “India is focusing on battling the pandemic at this point. We can always revisit this question once this pandemic is behind us.”
In his media interaction, Gen Rawat exuded confidence that India will soon be able to come out with a vaccine against the virus.
“We are very confident about capability of our scientists,” he said.
Gen Rawat held the press conference to announce that the Indian armed forces will conduct fly-pasts, light up ships at sea and play military bands on Sunday to display gratitude to lakhs of people like doctors and paramedics engaged in the country’s fight against the pandemic.
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