Evidence suggests the coronavirus originated in bats in China in late 2019 and was not made in a laboratory, the World Health Organization said Tuesday.
The comment from the United Nation’s health agency comes days after President Donald Trump said the U.S. was trying to determine whether the virus originated from a lab in Wuhan, China.
“All available evidence suggests the virus has an animal origin and is not a manipulated or constructed virus in a lab or somewhere else,” WHO spokeswoman Fadela Chaib told a news briefing in Geneva, Reuters reported.
“It is probable, likely that the virus is of animal origin,” she said, adding that there had “certainly” been an intermediate animal host before the virus was transmitted to humans.
The coronavirus has now infected almost 2.5 million people and caused over 170,000 deaths around the world, according to data collated by Johns Hopkins University.