With the number of infected victims rising everyday internationally, people are going in search for answers, and it seems conspiracy theorists are having another day in the headlines.
Covid-19, short for Coronavirus disease 2019, is a novel Coronavirus outbreak that originated in December last year from city of Wuhan in China. Covid-19 (a virus caused by SARS-CoV-2), is described as a viral respiratory disease that came from unregulated contact between humans and animals, similar to SARS in 2002.
Initially, the virus was thought to have been transmitted to humans through bats from the Wuhan seafood wet market. However it was later confirmed that bats were not traded at the markets.
Conspiracy theorist now believe the virus could has been genetically engineered in a secret lab to create bio-weapons. It was suspected that the virus had accidentally leaked from the lab through the selling of the lab tester animals to street vendors instead of practicing proper disposal methods enforced by law. Via this theory, it would mean that an individual may have unknowingly consumed the lab animal and spread the virus through human to human transmission.
The outbreak had since reached over 26 countries, with more than 71, 000 confirmed cases elsewhere. As the fear of contracting the virus spreads, the conspiracy theory of the Chinese secretly creating bio-weapons is fueled as misinformation finds its way to the internet.
While Chinese scientists have now admitted that there is a link between their lab and the outbreak, this does not confirm the theory that Covid-19 is a bio weapon, nor does it confirm that the virus was an terrible accident born from cross contamination.
This draws parallels to the conspiracy story of the Japanese Army planting bio weapons in order to win World War II. During the war, the Japanese army had held a secret lab in China known as Unit 731 to research and develop bio-weapons. It is believed that there were many cases of gruesome experiments conducted on civilians in order to test the reaction of the human body to poison and diseases as there was a large availability of subjects.
Captured victims were injected with microorganisms, and dissected alive without anesthetics to monitor the rate in which disease spreads. There were consequently many jars that contained body parts. Through the large scale testing of biological weapons on the Chinese towns, the unit began to start disease outbreaks through releasing plague flea bombs and infested rats against their enemies.
After the war ended, researchers of Unit 731 were given secret immunity to war-time crime prosecution by the US in exchange for the medical research gathered but the unit had already destroyed evidence by burying the body parts of the test victims.
Although some unit 731 Veterans of the unit had confessed to dissections of live victims, spreading typhoid, cholera and other viruses and dropping plague infested fleas on towns by train, road and planes, limb infections developed in civilians could not be proven to be related to the germ weapons.
Akin to the conspiracy theories surrounding Covid-19, any human experimentation that may have taken place in Unit 731 with bio-warfare in mind has never been confirmed, thus it remains a theory with insufficient evidence.
We have yet to be given hard evidence to suggest that the Covid-19 is a virus that was in fact, engineered as a bio weapon. However, as our knowledge of biology and technology is advancing, it would be concerning if the possible conspiracy theory is true.
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