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The beginning of 2020 has seen the emergence of COVID-19 outbreak caused by a novel coronavirus. The majority of the cases were epidemiologically linked to seafood, poultry and live wildlife market (Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market) in Jianghan District of Hubei Province. This suggests that the novel coronavirus has a possible zoonotic origin. Some evidence suggests the virus might have originated from bat sub-species. So far, scientists have been unable to conclusively determine the zoological origins of COVID-19.

In a recent (but undated) preprint, two Chinese scientists claim that the COVID-19 strain of coronavirus probably originated from a laboratory in Wuhan:

In summary, somebody was entangled with the evolution of 2019-nCoV coronavirus. In addition to origins of natural recombination and intermediate host, the killer coronavirus probably originated from a laboratory in Wuhan.

The preprint implicates the Wuhan Institute of Virology, the only BSL-4 virology lab in China. Scientists have previously expressed concerns about the organisation's ability to monitor the lab.

Other scientists, such as Trevor Bedford, of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle has disputed the theory of the laboratory origins of COVID-19, claiming: "There is no evidence whatsoever of genetic engineering that we can find". ETA (2021-07-06) to clarify, this doesn't 'dispute all lab-origins, just those that involve genetic modification.