IN February 2020, the British medical journal The Lancet publishes a letter signed by 27 scientists stating: “We stand together to strongly condemn conspiracy theories suggesting that Covid-19 does not have a natural origin.”
In March 2020 in a letter to Nature Medicine, a group of scientists write: ‘Our analyses clearly show that Sars-Cov2 is not a laboratory construct or a purposefully manufactured virus.”
In January 2021 a team from the World Health Organisation inspects the Wuhan Laboratory in China at the centre of the theory. In February 2021 The WHO Report says it is “extremely unlikely” that the virus leaked from a laboratory.
On May 23, 2021, a group of scientists writes to Science saying that a natural origin and lab leak are “viable’ explanations and on June 3, 2021, Dr Anthony Fauci , chief medical adviser to the US President, tells CNN: “The most likely origin is from an animal species... but I keep an absolutely open mind,” adding, “it could have been a lab leak.”
However and wherever this virus originated it continues to wreak havoc on communities and hospitals throughout the world. Another 12 deaths and over 1,648 cases have been reported here by the Department of Health. Deaths are up from 30 two weeks ago to 55 in the past seven days. It brings the total death toll here to 2,323. Most poignant was the funeral in Derry of Samantha Willis and her newly-born daughter’s baptism being held at the same church service. Her grieving husband has called for pregnant mothers to get vaccinated.
Monday’s statistics show that 1,320 new cases have been detected. That meant 188,589 people have had the virus. 11,886 have tested positive in the last seven days. Hospital capacity is at 103 per cent with six over capacity and few beds available. Admissions have 231 patients admitted in the past seven days compared to 307 in the previous seven-day period. There are 373 people in hospital with the virus with 41 in intensive care and 26 on a ventilator. One hundred and thirty four care homes are dealing with an outbreak.
The latest vaccination figures show 1,264,515 have had their first dose and 1.143 million are fully vaccinated. A total of 2,408,221 vaccines have been administered. That is 12,679 more than Friday before the Big Jab weekend which saw queues at centres.
The Scottish Government has announced that it is setting up a public judicial inquiry into how the pandemic has been handled.
The Executive will meet in the first week of September to consider the way forward with these increasing case numbers.