The current official version states that COVID-19 appeared in a colony of horseshoe bats in China's Yunnan province, which borders Myanmar. This version has many inconsistencies - in particular, how did the infection overcome the path 1000 km north to the large city of Wuhan, without being noticed? Therefore, Chinese scientists continue to search for alternative sources of the virus and now they have new suspects - pangolins.
In China itself, they do not recognize on camera - the version about bats is largely propaganda, it is used as a weighty argument for organizing the fight against the well-known promiscuity of the Chinese in food. The coronavirus epidemic has become a powerful catalyst, and in the heat of the confrontation, they managed to clean up many underground markets, as well as eliminate various supply channels for exotic meat. Investigators have to work with surviving samples, including confiscated goods from previous years.
In the frozen tissues of 18 Malay pangolins seized by Guangxi customs back in 2017, 6 samples of coronavirus RNA were found. In another batch of pangolin meat, from 2018, three more samples were found. Finally, Pangolin scales were sent from Guangzhou customs, which were confiscated at the beginning of 2019 - there were also traces of a virus very similar to COVID-19.
Genome sequencing of all samples led to the identification of two lines of coronaviruses, which coincide by 85, 5-92, 4% with COVID-19. In one of them, even the appearance of the thorns of the "crown" turned out to be completely identical. This did not come as a surprise - on the contrary, it only confirmed the fears of scientists that COVID-19 is not at all unique, but only a member of a large family of extremely dangerous viruses that will threaten humanity in the future. And the Chinese authorities will now have a headache - the number of suspected carriers of viruses is growing before our eyes, and it will be necessary to track the supply of dangerous meat to the country with the utmost care.