World Health Organization inspectors in China to investigate the origin of the coronavirus rejected claims that the disease which brought the world to its knees for the last year was deliberately created in a laboratory.

The WHO investigation is ongoing, but according to the inspectors initial findings suggest that the virus originated in animals, most likely bats.

Researchers are now trying to find out how the virus managed to "jump" from the animal to humans.

Peter Ben Embarek, a WHO virus expert, said at a press conference Tuesday that their investigation suggested that the virus originated from a natural reservoir in bats. However, the lack of bat habitats in Wuhan, which was the site of the first outbreak of the coronavirus in late 2019, suggested that it was another animal which transmitted the virus to humans.

Embarek also supported the Chinese regime's claims that there was no outbreak of the coronavirus in Wuhan before December 2019, when the first cases were recorded.

China's head of the coronavirus expert panel, Liang Wannian, said that "the chain of transmission through animals seems to be the way to go, but it still remains to identify the reservoir of animals that carried the virus." He suggested that cats may have been the vector by which the coronavirus was transmitted to humans given the susceptibility of felines to the virus.

World Health Organization experts spent about a month in China, including two weeks in isolation, before embarking on their mission. According to reports from China, they visited for only an hour the seafood market in Wuhan from where it is believed the virus first broke out and was passed on to humans, and at the Wuhan Institute of Virology they met for four hours with Chinese scientists in an attempt to figure out where the virus originated.