21 Apr 2020 11:29

Russia's Skvortsova doesn't rule out theory novel coronavirus may have been created in lab

MOSCOW. April 21 (Interfax) - Head of Russia's Federal Medical-Biological Agency (FMBA) Veronika Skvortsova has not ruled out a theory suggesting that the novel coronavirus could have been engineered in a laboratory.

"Neither theory can be ruled out," Skvortsova told the "Pozner" TV program on Monday.

The novel coronavirus is 94% similar to the SARS virus, but there is also "quite a large number of fragments that are different, including the presence of fragments of retroviruses and HIV," she said.

On the whole, the issue of this virus's origin is "quite challenging and requires thorough research," she said.