Coronavirus: Chinese media releases footage of Wuhan virology lab

The facility was designed to only allow air to flow into the facility, rather than out, in order to prevent any leaks.

A coronavirus testing facility in Wuhan, China. (photo credit: BGI)
A coronavirus testing facility in Wuhan, China.
(photo credit: BGI)
Chinese state media released footage from February 2020 showing the inside of the Wuhan Institute of Virology lab that some have accused of being the source of the coronavirus outbreak, The New York Post reported.
The new footage was released by state broadcaster CCTV, showing researchers in protective equipment handling test samples. One of the scientists in the video, Zhang Huajun, demonstrated how the researchers at the facility wear two layers of protective suits and have to go through airtight chambers, The Sun wrote, adding that
According to Zhang, the facility was designed to only allow air to flow into the facility, rather than out, in order to prevent any leaks.
This comes after images surfaced showing a broken seal on a freezer in the laboratory that contained around 1,500 strains of deadly viruses, prompting suspicion that an accident could have led to the transmission of the novel coronavirus into a human. These images, which were first published by the state-run China Daily, were quickly deleted.
According to anonymous intelligence sources, the US has reportedly begun investigating the possibility of the outbreak beginning in the lab.
The Washington Post
reported that in January 2018, US officials warned about the subpar safety conditions at the laboratory and commented on the risky research being conducted on coronaviruses from bats. According to a Fox News report, an anonymous source claimed that China may have shifted the blame onto the wet markets in order to deflect any blame on the laboratory, which the source called the "costliest government cover-up of all time."
Since then, more officials have weighed in on the subject, with US Defense Secretary Mark Esper accusing China of withholding information regarding the coronavirus, and President Donald Trump telling Fox that "we are doing a very throughout examination of this horrible situation."
Speaking on Wednesday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo accused China of not reporting human-to-human transmission of the virus to the World Health Organization (WHO) "for a month until it was in every province inside of China," Reuters reported.
Suspicion over China's initial handling of the coronavirus outbreak is not limited to the US alone. On Sunday, Australia called for an inquiry into China's handling of the outbreak, as well as an investigation into the origins and spread of the virus.
Australia has called on other nations to support their calls for an inquiry and investigation, though France and Britain have declined to do so, claiming that now is not the time for an investigation, Reuters reported.
China denied allegations that the lab was responsible for the outbreak.
"There's no way this virus came from us," the lab's deputy director Yuan Zhiming told Chinese media Saturday. “More and more we’re hearing the story … we are doing a very thorough examination of this horrible situation.
“[The US has] no evidence or knowledge. This is entirely based on speculation,” he added.
“Part of the purpose is to confuse people, to interfere with our entire epidemic activities or our scientific activities.”
In addition, the Chinese Embassy in Australia slammed Canberra's calls for an investigation. In a statement late Tuesday, the embassy accused Australian lawmakers as acting as Trump's mouthpiece, adding that "certain Australian politicians are keen to parrot what those Americans have asserted and simply follow them in staging political attacks on China," Reuters reported.
Reuters contributed to this report.