Cambodia bat researchers on mission to track origin of COVID-19
Researchers are collecting samples from bats in northern Cambodia in a bid to understand the COVID-19 pandemic, returning to a region where a very similar virus was found in the animals a decade ago.
Two samples from horseshoe bats were collected in 2010 in Stung Treng province near Laos and kept in freezers at the Institut Pasteur du Cambodge (IPC) in Phnom Penh.
Tests done on them last year revealed a close relative to the coronavirus that has killed more than 4.6 million people worldwide.
An eight-member IPC research team has been collecting samples from bats and logging their species, sex, age and other details for a week. Similar research is going on in the Philippines.