China was suspected of creating state secrets from research on the origin of the coronavirus. Associated Press reporters conducted their investigation.
They assure that a special commission under the Chinese government will check before publishing the study on the virus. Beijing is giving hundreds of thousands of dollars in grants to scientists studying the origins of the coronavirus, according to the agency.
According to internal documents, on February 24, the country introduced new approval procedures for publication in accordance with вЂњimportant instructionsвЂќ from Chinese President Xi Jinping. Other notices instructed staff not to share any data, samples, or other information related to the coronavirus to third-party agencies or individuals, AP notes.
вЂњToday, the caves, which were once explored by scientists, are under the close supervision of the authorities,вЂќ the agency said. These are the habitats of bats, which are believed to carry the virus. The journalists also noted that the PRC state security agents tracked the AP group and did not allow them to visit the cave, where researchers in 2017 identified the species of bats responsible for SARS.
According to the article, the Chinese authorities are also guarding an abandoned mine in which the closest genetic relative of COVID-19, the RaTG13 virus, was discovered in 2012.
An outbreak of COVID-19 pneumonia caused by a novel coronavirus was first recorded in December 2019 in Wuhan, China. On March 11, WHO announced that the situation could be characterized as a pandemic.