NEW DELHI: Union Road Transport and MSME Minister Nitin Gadkari on Wednesday said the coronavirus was not a natural virus but lab-grown, a view articulated by US President Donald Trump to attack China for the spread of the pandemic.
Asked by a TV channel about how the government plans to bring back the lakhs of migrant workers who have headed to their native places, Gadkari said, “this is the most important challenge, to create self-confidence is very important. There is a fear in the mind of the people. We have to understand the art of living with corona. This is not a natural virus. It is an artificial virus.”
This is not the first time he made such a comment. On Tuesday, in a separate interview, he said: “This coronavirus is an artificial virus, prepared in the laboratory. This is not a natural virus. That is the reason why our medical experts and scientists don’t have any solution for it. They never expected it.”
Trump has often alleged that it originated at China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology and not in the city’s wet market.
On Wednesday, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, at the SCO conference, urged member-states to reject attempts to politicise the response and label the virus. External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar participated in the meet.