The foreign secretary, who is representing for Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Mr Dominic Raab, said there needs to be a “deep dive” analysis into how the virus was able to spread from China.
Mr Raab told the government’s daily COVID-19 news conference that “I think there absolutely needs to be a very, very deep dive after the event review of the lessons – including of the outbreak of the virus – and I don’t think we can flinch from that at all, it needs to be driven by the science,”
Havelock Magazine learnt, from foreign media, the UK is investigating the origin of the coronavirus pandemic, including a possibility it could be linked to a Chinese laboratory conducting research into diseases in bats.
Mr Raab has further stated the UK and China had good cooperation when it comes to the procurement of equipment and the return of UK nationals, adding that the review would need to be carried out in a “balanced way”.
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However, He specially emphasized “But there is no doubt we can’t have business as usual after this crisis, and we will have to ask the hard questions about how it came about and how it couldn’t have been stopped earlier.”
The Commons Foreign Affairs Select Committee warned recently that disinformation propagated by Beijing and other countries was costing lives and hindering the battle against COVID-19.
As the country where the outbreak originated, China should have played a central role in collecting data on its spread, MPs on the committee said.
It called on the British government, in conjunction with international allies, to actively “confront and rebut” disinformation from foreign powers.
The MPs also named Iran and Russia as being behind false information about the coronavirus and suggested other nations might be involved.
But their ire was mainly focused on China.
The committee highlighted the way Li Wenliang, the Wuhan doctor who first raised the alarm about COVID-19, was forced to confess to “making false comments” before he died from the virus in February.
Committee chairman Tom Tugendhat said Beijing had at first “allowed disinformation to spread as quickly as the virus”.
He said that “Rather than helping other countries prepare a swift and strong response, it is increasingly apparent that they manipulated vital information about the virus in order to protect the regime’s image.”
“The government needs to tackle these lies with a clear and quick response, working with our allies to show a united front in the face of false facts and deadly disinformation.”
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