The work of Dr Shi Zhengli figures large in the dossier prepared by Western governments as intelligence agencies around the world investigate whether the virus inadvertently leaked from a Wuhan laboratory. Photo: AFP

Did China deliberately suppress or destroy evidence of the coronavirus outbreak in an “assault on international transparency’’ that cost tens of thousands of lives?

According to a 15-page dossier prepared by concerned Western governments on the Covid-19 contagion and obtained by The Saturday Telegraph, it lays the foundation for the case of expanding negligence being mounted against China.

It states that to the “endangerment of other countries” the Chinese government covered up news of the virus by silencing or “disappearing” doctors who spoke out, destroying evidence of it in laboratories and refusing to provide live samples to international scientists.

It can also be revealed the Australian government trained and funded a team of Chinese scientists who belong to a laboratory which went on to genetically modify deadly coronaviruses that could be transmitted from bats to humans and had no cure.

As intelligence agencies around the world investigate whether the virus inadvertently leaked from a Wuhan laboratory, the team and its research led by scientist Shi Zhengli feature in the dossier prepared by Western governments, the report said.

It cites their work discovering samples of coronavirus from a cave in the Yunnan province with striking genetic similarity to Covid-19, along with their research synthesizing a bat-derived coronavirus that could not be treated.

Its major themes include the “deadly denial of human-to-human transmission,” the silencing or “disappearing” of doctors and scientists who spoke out, the destruction of evidence of the virus from genomic studies labs, and “bleaching of wildlife market stalls,” along with the refusal to provide live virus samples to international scientists, the report said.

Key figures of the Wuhan Institute of Virology team were either trained or employed in the CSIRO’s Australian Animal Health Laboratory, where they conducted research on deadly pathogens in live bats, as part of a partnership between the CSIRO and the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

This partnership continues, according to the website of the Wuhan ­Institute of Virology, despite concerns the research is too risky, the report said.

In Wuhan, in China’s Hubei province, not far from the now infamous Wuhan wet market, Dr. Shi and her team work in level-three and level-four bio-containment laboratories studying deadly bat-derived coronaviruses.

At least one of the ­estimated 50 virus samples Dr. Shi has in her laboratory is a 96% genetic match to Covid-19. When Dr Shi heard the news about the outbreak, she spoke about the sleepless nights she suffered worrying whether it was her lab that was responsible, the report said.

As she told Scientific American magazine, since her initial fears, Dr. Shi has satisfied herself the genetic sequence of Covid-19 did not match anything her lab was studying.

Yet, given the extent of the People’s Republic of China’s lies, obfuscations and angry refusal to allow any investigation into the origin of the outbreak, her laboratory is now being closely looked at by the Five Eyes group of intelligence agencies, the report said.

Meanwhile, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence acting director Richard Grenell insisted the virus was not created in a laboratory.

“The Intelligence Community also concurs with the wide scientific consensus that the Covid-19 virus was not man-made or genetically modified,” he said.

But that statement left open the possibility the virus could have leaked from the Wuhan lab.

Senior intelligence sources told Fox News that as of now, the investigation may continue for days, weeks or even months. They add there are very stringent requirements in place that must be met before investigators can present their findings to the Trump administration with confidence.

Additionally, Fox sources believe that the World Health Organization — which the president paused funding to this week over its role in the crisis — was either complicit in the coverup, or looked the other way.

The paper obtained by The Saturday Telegraph also paints a dire picture of how the Chinese government deliberately covered up the coronavirus by silencing doctors who spoke out, destroying evidence from the Wuhan lab and refusing to provide live virus samples to international scientists working on a vaccine.

the Office of the Director of National Intelligence acting director Richard Grenell insisted the virus was not created in a laboratory. Credit: Handout.

Furthermore, out of all the doctors, activists, journalists and scientists who have reportedly disappeared after speaking out, no case is more worrying than that of Huang Yan Ling, the report said.

A researcher at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, the South China Morning Post reported rumours swirling on Chinese social media that she was the first to be diagnosed with the disease and was ­“patient zero.”

Then came her reported disappearance, with her biography and image clumsily deleted from the Wuhan Institute of Virology’s website.

On February 16 the institute denied she was ­patient zero and said she was alive and well, but there has been no proof of life since then, fanning the mystery to greater heights and speculation — exactly what the Chinese government doesn’t want.

On January 1 without any investigation into where the virus originated from, the Wuhan seafood market was closed and disinfected, the report said.

The Hubei health commission ordered genomics companies to stop testing and to destroy all samples. A day later, on January 3, China’s leading health authority, the National Health Commission, ordered Wuhan pneumonia samples be moved to designated testing facilities or destroyed, while instructing a no-publication order.

Doctors who bravely spoke out about the new virus were detained and condemned, their detentions splashed across the Chinese-state media, with a call from police for “all citizens to not fabricate rumours, not spread rumours, not believe rumours.”

Rumours that would end in the death of a quarter million people around the globe.