CSIR chief criticizes ‘flawed’ Chinese report on origin of Covid-19
The Director General of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Dr. Shekhar C Mande, criticized a recent Chinese research report that claimed that Covid-19 had its origins in India or Bangladesh, and said the study was done poorly and riddled with bugs.
“There is an article that is being considered for publication in the Lancet. It hasn’t been peer-reviewed yet, so we can’t say what the peer-review system will do to it. But he claims that the origin of the SARS-CoV2 virus is in India, and having read the entire article myself and thoroughly understood what it says, the study is very poorly done. The analysis was very poorly done and I don’t think it will stand up to the scrutiny of a peer review system, ”Dr. Mande told ANI.
Dr. Mande further said that the Chinese reported a high monkey-human interaction in India, which had nothing to do with the virus.
“The combination of methodologies that they have used to show that the virus originates from India or Bangladesh is quite flawed, it is not correct. For example, they have taken sequences from a database. That database only has selective sequences that have been submitted. So it’s not a random sequence sample, ”he said.
Furthermore, he reported that there were too many loopholes in the study, and therefore its veracity could not be confirmed, adding that the study can be comfortably said to be incorrect. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that some countries are politicizing the origin of the virus.
“We are doing everything we can to make sure we know the origin. Some have politicized this. Our position is very clear that we will start the study from Wuhan, we will know what happened there and, based on the findings, to explore if there are other avenues, “said Ghebreyesus.
Commenting on Ghebreyesus’s statement, Dr Mande said: “WHO acts very rationally to find these things. We do not need to contribute any political angle, what we want is to get to the bottom of the truth and there is science behind it. Scientifically, we explore each question and try to see where the origin of the virus is, and today the consensus is that the origin of the virus is in the Chinese province of Wuhan. So, there is a general consensus in the world and that is what we would like to trust ”, he also said.
On Twitter, Dr. Mande shared the study link, saying: “Many glaring errors in the study. I have pointed out in a number of my tweets that the study design, conduct and analysis are flawed. Hopefully the scientific world rejects the hypothesis ”.
According to the South China Morning Post, an article by researchers in China proposed that the first transmission of SARS-CoV-2 may have taken place on the Indian subcontinent.
The report was based on research into virus strains provided by 17 countries and regions, and claimed to trace the first outbreak to India or Bangladesh.
The deadly virus that emerged in China’s Wuhan province has infected more than 63 million people around the world and claimed the lives of more than 1.4 million.