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Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who has irritated Beijing by cross-questioning for a global investigation into the coronavirus outbreak, said he had no proof to propose the disease emanated in a laboratory in the Chinese city of Wuhan.
U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday he was sure the coronavirus may have emanated in a Chinese virology lab, but downturn to describe the proof he said he had seen.
Morrison said on Friday that Australia had no clue to support that theory, and said the uncertainty supported his push for an inquiry to understand how the pandemic started and then spread rapidly around the world.
“What we have before us doesn’t suggest that that is the likely source,” Morrison told a news conference in Canberra when asked about Trump’s comments.
“There’s nothing we have that would indicate that was the likely source, though you can’t rule anything out in these environments,” he said.
“We know it started in China, we know it started in Wuhan, the most likely scenario that has been canvassed relates to wildlife wet markets, but that’s a matter that would have to be thoroughly assessed.”
The Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV), based in the city where the disease was first spotted, has refused suggestions the coronavirus came from its laboratory.
Most scientists now say the virus emanated in wildlife, with bats and pangolins identified as possible host species.
Relations between Australia and China have been tension since the government began canvassing support in mid-April for an international inquiry into the pandemic.
At least 20 people have been confirmed dead following an outbreak of cholera in the northern gas-rich province of Cabo Delgado, the state-linked Noticias newspaper reports.
The Mozambican health authorities are reported to have declared the outbreak in the three districts of Macomia, Mocimboa da Praia and Ibo.
The provincial director of health, Anastacia Lidimba, said the outbreak began on islands off the Cabo Delgado coast, where people have taken refuge in unsanitary conditions to flee from attacks by Islamist insurgents on the mainland.
She said the situation was bad on Matemo and Congo islands.
Dr Lidimba said so far 273 cases of the water-borne disease have been diagnosed.
Teams of doctors and medicine have been sent to the affected areas.
FROM BBC NEWS