The world seems to have touched the height of what it means to be ‘hi-tech’ and claims ultimate achievements in the fields of medical, science and technology. Man was proud of multiple inventions and discoveries such as laser surgeries, heart replacement, and many others in the field of medicine but the sudden outbreak of the invisible invader in the form of a virus reminded us that man has achieved nothing yet. Man, who has been claiming to have touched the skies of success is unable to combat this 1 gram of virus, as the weight of the virus was measured at 0.85 actograms, or about one millionth of a trillion grams and 70 billion viruses would make a person sick. The total number of cases worldwide make the weight of the rogue viruses about 1 gram. This virus had brought the entire world on its knees.

Today, the entire world’s experts are confused about whether this virus is manmade or natural. Man is confused because of the past record of biowarfare as inimical countries have used genetically changed viruses against each other. UK used bioweapons against USA, Hitler used it for his enemies as well, and Japan developed and used employed viruses against its opponents. The world is really confused about chemical warfare and biological warfare. In fact, biowarfare, more lethal and commonly known as germ warfare, produces infectious diseases by using biological toxins or infectious agents developed in the form of bacteria, viruses, and fungi with the intent to kill or incapacitate humans. Weapons of mass destruction, both biological and chemical, were used for the first time in history by the German army during the First World War. Although the attacks with biological weapons were not particularly successful but were used on a small scale using both anthrax and glanders attempted to infect animals directly in several of their enemy countries. In the 20th century, more than 500 million people died of epidemics and pandemics caused by infectious diseases. Several millions of these deaths occurred due to the deliberate release of pathogens, viruses, or toxins. Most of them were released by the Japanese to carry out attacks on China during the Second World War. It is still a historical fact that the Japanese remained hidden on an island near Baguio in the Philippines. The use of modified pathogens constitutes devastating agents for biological warfare that validates the fear of destruction through them. Pathogens and biological agents could also escape from clandestine production plants they are kept at, even if these are not deliberately employed and are capable enough to cause a deadly epidemic in the civilian population like the world suffering today. Should we presume that hypothetically, COVID-19 may have been spread due to a human mistake earlier this century which gradually multiplied its victims? In 1979, anthrax leaked from a bioweapons plant in the Soviet city of Sverdlovsk, triggering a deadly outbreak killing around 100 people. The source of production of viruses is through animals or enemy plants and the development of a virus is an act of war and prohibited under the 1975 Geneva Convention.

Biological weapons include any microorganism such as bacteria, viruses, or fungi or toxin that includes poisonous compounds produced by microorganisms found in nature that can be used to kill or injure people. To avoid potential biowarfare, world leaders decided to bring about the Biological Warfare Convention in 1925. The BWC discourages any country’s hostile intentions to adopt biological warfare and the deliberate use of disease as a weapon through development, production, and stockpiling of biological agents. The convention complements the Geneva Protocol, which banned biological warfare methods in 1925. The obligations of the 182 members of convention are as under:

It forbids the States Parties from development, production, stockpiling, or otherwise acquiring of biological equipment or toxic materials to deliver biological agents or toxins for hostile purposes;

It says that States Parties are obliged to destroy their existing stocks of prohibited items or divert them to peaceful purposes;

States Parties are forbidden by the convention from transferring prohibited items to anyone or otherwise helping in the manufacture or acquisition of biological weapons;

The convention protects the rights of States Parties to exchange materials, equipment’s and scientific or technological information for peaceful purposes so that their economic and technological development is not hampered.

Obliges States Parties to cooperate in solving any issues through consultation and in carrying out any investigation initiated by the UN Security Council. The State Parties are also obliged to provide assistance to others that have been attacked by Biological Weapons.

Chemical weapons are preserved in devices that are a very lethal way to inflict death and injury through lab-prepared toxins and these are one-time actions, while biological weapons use pathogens or organisms that cause disease. Pathogens include bacteria, viruses, fungi, and toxins. They are produced by the poisons extracted from animals or plants.

It is clear that chemical weapons are made out of chemicals whereas biological warfare tools are made through genetic changes in deadly viruses which may cripple the dealer at a given time: As for the actual use of biological weapons, in the 1930s, unknown to the rest of the world, the Japanese Imperial Army in Manchuria developed crude biological weapons and then in the early 1940s actually used them against unsuspecting Chinese. The British Army commanders approved the use of smallpox as a biological weapon in the French and Indian War to target Native Americans during the Siege of Fort Pitt in 1763. Correspondence between General (Baron) Jeffrey Amherst and Colonel Henry Bouquet provides further evidence that the English army freely planned the use of biological weapons to kill Native Americans, as detailed in Native American disease and epidemics. Although the UK never offensively used the biological weapons it developed on its own, its programme was the first to successfully weaponise a variety of deadly pathogens and bring them into industrial production.

During the final months of World War II, Japan planned to use the plague as a biological weapon against the US.

In 1969, the UK and the Warsaw Pact, separately, introduced proposals to the UN to ban biological weapons, and US President Richard Nixon terminated the production of biological weapons as a goodwill gesture.

Even Hitler ordered prohibiting the development of biological weapons, referring to his own devastating experience with the effects of chemical agents used during World War I. However, with the support of other high-ranking Nazi officials, German scientists began biological weapons research. The United States biological weapons programme officially began in spring 1943 on the orders of US President Franklin Roosevelt, hence I am of the view that the world powers have this capability to produce any type of biological weapons. The use of biological weapons is prohibited under customary international humanitarian law, as well as a variety of international treaties. The use of biological agents in armed conflict is a war crime.

May I pose a question; when the world powers evidently have this habit of developing chemical warfare and biological warfare then we from the third world, with our limited wisdom, tend to believe that COVID-19 looks to be more man-made than natural. This idea of mine has compelled me to write a plea to the United Nations Secretary General to appoint a high-powered commission to investigate patient zero and the origin of COVID-19. WHO and some other organisations have backed my purpose to investigate. I am not blaming any government, country or a group or levelling any allegation or endorsing any blame about the origin of COVID-19 and whether it is natural or manmade. I drew the UN Secretary General’s attention to apprehensions being shown by the international community as the history referenced above is creating apprehensions among global citizens. The way human being across the world are suffering, world leaders need to join their hands and constitute a high-powered commission consisting of scientists, virologists, biologists, doctors and all related experts to discover vaccine against COVID-19 as soon as possible to save humanity from further sufferings.

Note: The opinions expressed are solely my own and not necessarily to reflect the views or opinions of my party.