Biological weapons are deadly disease-causing biological mediums that are used as weapons.

 

New Delhi: The deadly wave of Covid-19 seems to be never ending. After the devastating second wave, experts now anticipate a deadly third wave, impacting children. In the second wave the strand was bizarre, manifesting different symptoms in different patients, and not giving people any chance to cope with it. By April, this new wave had assumed such a mortal form that no one would have imagined it.

In this context, an important point has to be understood and discussed. Is Covid-19 a biological weapon? As an expert on bio-weapons and bio-defence, I am apprehensive that this wave and the upcoming wave could be the result of a biological attack.And if this is true, the threat is of a different, unimaginable level. There have been questions about the nature of this pandemic, on whether or not it is a bio-weapon. Experts have been asking this question since the first wave took the entire world in its grip. How did the outbreak of such a deadly, mutated virus spread all over the worldall of a sudden? After China’s Wuhan, the virus reached Europe and America, but the outbreak did not spread to other provinces of China. Why so? Then the question raised by the then US President Donald Trump also seems to be right: China stopped all incoming flights but why didn’t it stop its outgoing flights to the rest of the world?

Then, there are many news articles that reported that WHO officially provided a range of information showing China not only concealed the exact number of deaths and other significant information related to Covid, it also punished those scientists and doctors who rang the alarmbells last year. Also there are several news reports that corona is or may be a laboratory made virus. News also says that China was working on a very ambitious biological weapons program. Francis Boyle, the father of the Biological Weapons Convention, said that the coronavirus is actually a deadly biological weapon that was created through DNA-genetic engineering. The Nobel Prize-winning French scientist Luc Montagnieralso said in an interview last year that the SARS-Cove-2 virus, Covid, was made in a Wuhan lab from a Chinese team working on HIV. Then, recently some intelligence documents submitted to the US State Department show that China was working to wage a Third World War using the coronavirus, and was working on this virus for almost six years. Perhaps this is the reason why China hid important information related to this virus last year. If these apprehensions are true, the pandemic is intended to threatennot only the security but the entire social, political and economic systems of target nations.

Biological attacks are a potential threat to whole humanity because they are neither visible nor is there any immediate treatment available. Biological weapons are deadly disease-causing biological mediums that are used as weapons. If we look at history, there is a mention of their use from ancient history to World War I and World War II. Diseases such as cholera, smallpox and plague have been used as biological weapons. However, in view of the damage caused by their use in 1972, the Biological and Chemical Weapons Conventionwas approved by most countries.

Biological weapons do not see border or nationality, they just create havoc. They are simple to manufacture, now high tech due to storage and they are cheap compared to nuclear weapons or common weapons. It is obvious that they are useful for any country or terrorist organization. The problem is that unless someone comes forward and admits that a particular pandemic is in fact a biological attack by that country or organization, it is difficult to find out whether it’sactually a natural pandemic or a biological attack. Once spread, it is almost impossible to stop biological weapons. Also, because their treatment or vaccine is not available immediately, the problem becomes serious. Hence, preparing a comprehensive civil defence against the use of bio-agents seems to be the need of the hour. With a well-designed system comprising effective norms, advanced technologies, strengthened public and community health-care systems, media and positive contribution of every person, Covid-19 and similar pandemics can be contained efficiently, caused by natural reasons or biological attacks.

If this is a case of biological warfare, the future looks grim.

Dr Anshu Joshi is Assistant Professor at the School of International Studies, JNU.