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 April, 2012 - 6 miners on the outskirts of a village deep in the mountains of southwest China went into a copper mine to clean bat guano. All six of them became mysteriously ill and three died.
Chinese scientists from the Wuhan Institute of Virology were called in to investigate and, after taking samples from bats in the mine, identified several new coronaviruses.
China has been since 2012 researching the virus in Wuhan Institute of Virology, whether to weaponise it, learn from it or make vaccines, is still uncertain.
The mine’s entry is now smothered in dense bamboo with a surveillance camera focused in the abandoned mine.
In November 2019, three Wuhan Institute of Virology’s researchers became ill and were admitted with symptoms consistent with Covid 19 or the corona virus and common seasonal illness.
 Chinese authorities have obstructed investigative efforts for journalists to access the mine. They have set up checkpoints by unidentified men to stop journalists from reaching the abandoned mine, and in one occasion citing wild elephants in the area as an excuse to deny entry in the area.
There was no sign of nearby villages being evacuated or any recent research activity at the mine. It was so overgrown that its entrance seemed to be inaccessible.
A Journal reporter reached the mine by mountain bike but was later detained and questioned for about five hours by police, who deleted a cellphone photograph of the mine.
Villagers told the reporter that local officials had warned them not to discuss the mine with outsiders.
Whether, China’s WIV released the virus intentionally on unintentionally is still unclear, although it without any scepticism, requires further investigation.
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