07:05 GMT23 June 2021
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The UK intelligence services are helping the United States to investigate whether the coronavirus leaked from a laboratory in the Chinese city of Wuhan, The Telegraph has reported.

    According to The Telegraph, the British intelligence community has conducted its own investigation into the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic. London's current official stance on the issue is that the leak theory should not be ruled out.

    "We are contributing what intelligence we have on Wuhan, as well as offering to help the Americans to corroborate and analyse any intelligence they have that we can assist with", a senior Whitehall security source told The Telegraph.

    US President Joe Biden said on Wednesday that the US intelligence community has determined there was insufficient information to assess whether COVID-19 came from human contact with an infected animal or from a laboratory leak, and ordered agencies redouble their efforts to investigate the matter and to report their findings to him in 90 days.

    In March, the World Health Organisation released the full version of a report by an international group of experts from the organidation on a visit to the Chinese city of Wuhan. The report concluded that the leak of COVID-19 from a laboratory was very unlikely. According to the experts, the new type of the coronavirus was most likely transmitted to humans from bats through another animal.

    Yet, a recently-released US intelligence report cited by The Wall Street Journal claimed that three researchers from China's Wuhan Institute of Virology became ill with respiratory infections resembling COVID-19 in November 2019, a month before China officially reported any cases, which sparked new rumours around the origins of the deadly virus.

    Beijing has repeatedly blasted Washington on the matter, saying that establishing the origins of the virus is "a difficult scientific question" and the United States is "currently trying to let the intelligence services draw scientific conclusions".

    "This only suggests that the US is not interested to find out the truth, it does not want any scientific research, this is just a political game, an attempt to throw the blame on others and throw off their responsibility", Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said on Friday.
    Tags:
    intelligence, probe, US, UK, theory, leak, laboratory, COVID-19, Wuhan, coronavirus
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