New Delhi: Amid conspiracy theories and speculations that the novel Coronavirus may have been produced in a laboratory, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has said that all available evidence points out to the fact that the virus originated in animals in China last year. Also Read - ‘Thank People Who Make Difference in Lives’: Suresh Raina Expresses Gratitude Towards Healthcare Workers Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

“All available evidence suggests the virus has an animal origin and is not manipulated or constructed in a lab or somewhere else,” Reuters quoted WHO spokeswoman Fadela Chaib as saying at Geneva news briefing. “It is probable, likely, that the virus is of animal origin.” Also Read - Amid Lockdown, Delhi Govt to Provide Ration to 30 Lakh People Who Don't Have Ration Cards

It was not clear, Chaib added, how the virus had jumped the species barrier to humans but there had “certainly” been an intermediate animal host. “It most likely has its ecological reservoir in bats but how the virus came from bats to humans is still to be seen and discovered.” Also Read - 'Many Countries Likely to Follow Suit', Says WHO After China Revises COVID-19 Casulaties

Prior to this, US President Donald Trump had lambasted China, saying that his administration was looking into reports that the novel coronavirus “escaped” from a Wuhan laboratory before it spread to the world.

“We’re looking at it, a lot of people are looking at it. It seems to make sense,” Trump had told the media when asked if there was an investigation into whether the coronavirus disease escaped from a lab in China’s COVID-19 ground-zero city of Wuhan.

Notably, Wuhan Institute of Virology and Huanan Seafood Market had come under scanner earlier for allegedly being the source of the novel coronavirus pandemic which has claimed lives of over 1.5 lakh people globally.