Coronavirus was first reported in Wuhan, China on 31 December 2019, which became the epicentre of the deadly virus.
In just three months coronavirus has swept across the world claiming almost 40,000 lives and has infected nearly 800,000 globally.
The US, Italy, Spain China, Germany, France and Iran all have the highest confirmed coronavirus cases in the world, with Italy having the highest death toll, at the time of writing.
Professor Raina Macintyre, head of Biosecurity at the Australian Kirby Institute has revealed their scientific research during a Four Corner’s documentary, called “Secrets behind Coronavirus Virus.”
The scientific team at the Kirby Institute work on epidemiology, vaccinology, bioterrorism prevention, mathematical modelling, genetic epidemiology, public health and also conduct clinical trials in infectious diseases.
Professor Macintyre said last month during the documentary, “We think the virus probably originated from bats, because that’s what the genetic data tells us.
“But often there’s an intermediary animal host, in this case, we think pangolins might be implicated, they are mammals.
“That intermediary animal host might have been at the market, but we don’t think it’s from eating them specifically through the gastrointestinal tract, but more from handling them, touching contaminated meat.
“So somewhere in that market, we believe there must have been a contaminated animal source that infected the first cluster of humans.”
Researcher’s at the University of Sydney found that smuggled Pangolins from Malaysia are carrying virus closely aligned with the human form of coronavirus.
Pangolins are the most commonly illegal trafficked mammal and are used as traditional medicine and food in China.
Research conducted by scientists published in the Journal Nature, say handling Pangolins requires “caution.”
Lead scientist Dr Tommy Lam from the University of Hong Kong told the BBC last week, “Although their role as the intermediate host of the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak remains to be confirmed, sale of these wild animals in wet markets should be strictly prohibited to avoid future zoonotic [animal to human] transmission.
Scientists are also saying that Bats hold coronaviruses which are even closer to the human coronavirus, with the exception of one key area, the part that helps Covid-19 invade the body’s cells.
Co-reseacher, Professor Edward Holmes of the University of Sydney said, “This tells us that viruses that look pretty adapted to humans are present in wildlife.
“Bats are certainly involved, pangolins may be, but it is very possible that other animal species are involved as well.”
Scientists are warning that the sale of animals in wet markets must be stopped to protect the world of any future outbreak.
Other scientists are saying through their research that “not all of the early cases were market associated, it is possible that the emergence story is more complicated than first suspected.”
A Chinese scientist told how a sick bat attacked the researchers at their laboratory in Wuhan and bled on them and urinated on another, they were then forced to quarantine themselves for 14 days.
The report describes how “the killer coronavirus probably originated from a laboratory in Wuhan.
“We noted two laboratories conducting research on bat coronavirus in Wuhan, one of which was only 280 metres from the seafood market.
“Our proposal provided an alternative origin of the coronavirus in addition to natural recombination and intermediate host.”
Professor Fang Chi-tai from the National Taiwan University (NTU) said, based on the virus unusual structure it is most likely “man made” and there is a theory coronavirus was somehow leaked or released from the Institute of Virology in Wuhan China.
Professor Fang said China’s track record with safety standards and laboratory management has been questioned in the past.
The Professor claims it was very possible that the Wuhan Chinese scientists created the deadly virus by simply adding four amino acids to an existing bat virus, which therefore makes it much easier to transmit to people.
Professor Fang added, “The mutations found in the novel coronavirus are unusual in an academic sense.