Recurring narrative of a Western-led plot to spread the Coronavirus.
The article quotes a little known expert from Russia’s Baltic fleet with the aim of fueling a conspiracy by drawing an unfounded link between the conduct of NATO’s DEFENDER Europe-20 military exercise with an ulterior motive to spread a Coronavirus pandemic in Europe as the fastest way of being able to neutralise Russian forces.
There is no evidence that suggests that the coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is used as a weapon against other states. It comes from a family of viruses that include other viruses such as SARS and MERS. It was first reported in the Chinese city of Wuhan in central China and has been rapidly spreading with new cases being reported in the Asia-Pacific region as well as Europe, North America and the Middle East, causing more than 3584 deaths by 08 March 2020.
As of 8th March 2020, coronavirus was confirmed in over 100 countries in all continents (except Antarctica).
The identity of the animal source of the coronavirus, named nCoV-2019, has been one of the key questions for the researchers. Coronaviruses are known to circulate in mammals and birds, and scientists have already suggested that nCoV-2019 originally came from bats. One of the previous coronaviruses that caused severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, spread from bats to civet cats to humans. The South China Agricultural University in Guangzhou says that two of its researchers have identified the pangolin as the potential source of nCoV-2019. This was announced to reporters at a press conference on 7 February 2020.