The Wuhan lab at the centre of a storm over the origins of Covid-19 was awarded a patent for cages to hold live bats for testing just months before the virus started spreading, it was reported last night.
Last week the World Health Organisation said that a leak from the institute was ‘high unlikely’, however did give some credence to theories the virus may have entered China via frozen meat.
That narrative is one being pushed by the Chinese government.
The Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) has allegedly been found to have filed patents for “bat rearing cages” and “artificial breeding” systems less than 12 months before the coronavirus first emerged in December 2019.
WIV has been subject to international scrutiny as it was known to have been carrying out experiments on bat coronaviruses – and is located just miles from Covid’s ground zero.
The Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) filed an application in June 2018 to patent ‘bat rearing cages’ which would be ‘capable of healthy growth and breeding under artificial conditions’.
The patent was reportedly granted in January 2019 – 11 months before Beijing reported that the first cases of the virus in the city had broken out just a few miles from the institute.
A separate patent, filed by the institute on October 16, 2020, relates to the ‘artificial breeding method of wild bat’, it was reported.
The patent reportedly discusses cross- species transmission of SARS- CoV from bat to humans and other animals, saying: ‘Bats infected with the virus naturally or artificially have no obvious clinical symptoms, and the mechanism is unknown’.
The new revelations about the bat cages raises more questions about the work the Chinese scientists – lead by Dr Shi Zhengli, known as Batwoman – were doing in the months leading up to the pandemic.