The deadly COVID-19 that originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan last December and killed more than 2.5 million people globally is not a “natural virus” and was created in a laboratory, said Union Minister Nitin Gadkari on Wednesday.
In an interview to NDTV, Gadkari said, “...We need to understand the art of living with corona. That art of living is very important as it is not a natural virus. It is an artificial virus and many countries across the world are researching for a vaccine."
This is the first time an Indian official has made comments on the origin of the virus. While, other countries, prominently the United States has been vocal on its criticism over China's role in both the conception and spread of the virus, India had remained on the sidelines. Gadkari is the first senior cabinet minister to have balmed a lab in Wuhan for the creation of the highly infectious virus.
“The second thing is detection methodology. We need some good methodology. Immediately, we can identify (the virus). This is unexpected because this a virus from laboratory, this is not a natural virus,” the union minister added.
Gadkari’s statement comes at a time when there is already rising suspicion of China's involvement in the creation of the virus from a lab in Wuhan, the capital of the Hubei province. While concrete proof is yet to confirm their validity, these claims are gaining popularity.
The deadly COVID-19 has brought the world economy into a standstill with many countries announcing full or partial lockdowns in a bid to contain its spread.
Gadkari, however, expressed confidence that the countries, including India, are prepared to handle the coronavirus crisis. “So, probably the world is prepared, India is prepared, scientists are prepared and the system is prepared by which after getting the solution for that, we can create a positive confidence. By taking the vaccine, there will be no problem. So, I feel that as early as possible, we will get the alternative solution for all these things and that will resolve the problem,” Gadkari said.