Tuesday 19 January 2021
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China turns funny, says India spread coronavirus

Following a modus operandi typical of communists, China made a bunch of scientists on its payroll do its bidding, employing a dubious test to arrive at the ludicrous conclusion

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Biology Health China turns funny, says India spread coronavirus

After turning a villain in the eyes of the world that alleged it was designing the novel coronavirus 2019 (SARS-Cov-19 that causes COVID-19) as a biological weapon that was unleashed on the world to devastate it and emerge as the No. 1 economy in the aftermath, China appears to be attempting the role of a comedian. Now that it could not overwhelm India militarily in Ladakh either, it has turned its focus back to the narrative on the virus, accusing India of spreading the agent.

While China’s misadventures continue to surface from time to time in India’s eastern Ladakh region as the standoff now has sustained for half-a-year, Chinese scientists on government payroll made a claim that has reduced them to a butt of jokes. They alleged that coronavirus had originated from India and spread throughout the world.

While the whole world knows that last year, Wuhan in Hubei province reported the first case of coronavirus — which Beijing itself had announced to the world, albeit after months of delay — a team of the Chinese Academy of Sciences now says it is likely that coronavirus had first appeared in India during the summer of 2019.

Before reaching Wuhan, the virus, according to them, got transmitted to humans through water contaminated by animals in India. Scientists in the UK have downright rejected the Chinese claim. David Robertson of Glasgow University told Sirf News that the Chinese paper was “very flawed”.

“It adds nothing to our understanding of the coronavirus,” Robertson said.

This is not the first time that China, cornered by allegations of different countries led by the US, has pointed fingers at other countries. Before this, China had accused Italy and the US Navy of ‘creating’ and/or ‘spreading’ the virus without any evidence.

While the World Health Organisation (WHO) is collecting information about the origin of coronavirus, China has now accused India of being responsible for the global pandemic perhaps to divert attention from its bungling in the border issue where it was so embarrassed by the bloody nose the Indian soldiers delivered to its troops that it still refuses to acknowledge the death of its 53 soldiers, which was reported by American intelligence agencies.

China accuses via ‘scientific’ paper

As has been a typical style of propaganda by communists, the CCP made a bunch of scientists do its bidding to put a stamp of legitimacy on its allegation. For the research paper, the Chinese team took recourse to the phylogenetic analysis (a study of how the virus is mutated). Like all cells, coronavirus mutates too.

Scientists argue that this method allows locating the lowest source of the mutation through which the least mutation occurred. Chinese scientists claim that the actual source, on using this method, was not found to be Wuhan.

The team of the Chinese Academy of Sciences claimed that their method yielded the names of any one or more of Bangladesh, the US, Greece, Australia, India, Italy, the Czech Republic, Russia and Serbia as the possible origin(s) of the virus.

Scientist Anup Som writes in his paper ‘Causes, consequences and solutions of phylogenetic incongruence’, “Despite immense progress in recent years, phylogenetic reconstruction involves many challenges that create uncertainty with respect to the true evolutionary relationships of the species or genes analyzed. One of the most notable difficulties is the widespread occurrence of incongruence among methods and also among individual genes or different genomic regions. Presence of widespread incongruence inhibits successful revealing of evolutionary relationships and applications of phylogenetic analysis.”

These researchers in China argue that since geographical neighbours India and Bangladesh have recorded the lowest number of mutations, either or both these countries transmitted the virus first. The Chinese scientists claim they made this ‘discovery’ in July and August 2019.

That is interesting, as when the world was accusing China of hiding the outbreak since August last year until December 2019 or January this year, it did not strike Beijing that it could pass the buck to India immediately.

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Mausumi Dasgupta
Mausumi Dasgupta
Literary affairs writer, consultant for overseas education, history and economics enthusiast

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