Could Omicron be a human creation, according to a virologist

Russian virologist Chumakov believes that British scientists have created a new strain of coronavirus, deliberately making it “super-weakened.” However, experts disagree with this version. Why?

In an interview with Radio Russia, Pyotr Chumakov, Corresponding Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Head of the Cell Proliferation Laboratory at the V.A. Engelhardt of the Russian Academy of Sciences, considered “omicron” an artificial strain. According to him, this variant of the coronavirus is purposefully created “super-weakened”:

“I believe it is so. That these are the British. We decided to end the pandemic now, because now the time has come for some drastic changes in the world. Now just such a moment has come, when, for some political reason, they decided to quickly wrap up the pandemic. It’s not just a mutation. It was they who collected all the mutations that were known that were already encountered in this virus spontaneously, that is, when it evolved … They collected all these mutations in one strain, moreover, they also introduced there an insert of three amino acids that are characteristic of of the coronavirus season. Nobody can explain how it could have arisen like this independently in this strain. “

However, experts interviewed by journalists did not agree with the version of the virologist. RBK… For example, Mikhail Shchelkanov, director of the Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology named after G.P. Somov of Rospotrebnadzor, claims that he sees absolutely no evidence that the strain can be artificially created:

“This is a normal course of events, when the virus accumulates mutations and weakens on the sly. I don’t see any human hand there. Any virus in one way or another exists in the form of many variants. Over time, certain options begin to be selected. Naturally, after two to three decades, the virus must adapt in the human population. Here, we see, the option swung towards adaptation to the human body. In all coronaviruses, due to a number of replication features, insertions and deletions of several amino acid residues are very easy to form. This is also not surprising and nothing new. “

Virologist Alexei Agranovsky, professor at Moscow State University, Doctor of Biological Sciences, also does not think that we are talking about the artificial origin of the new omicron strain. He argues that the emergence of new variants of SARS-CoV-2 is, rather, confirmation of its natural origin, since such a development of events indicates the variability of the virus.

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