Chinese scientists are now arguing that the coronavirus originated in India in July-August 2019 when an unbearable heatwave in May-June that year forced animals and humans to share the same water sources.

The theory is seen by many experts as Beijing’s latest effort to apportion blame outside their borders.

A Glasgow University expert, David Robertson found the argument by the Chinese Academy of Sciences team “flawed”, according to Daily Mail newspaper.

He said it “added nothing” to their understanding of Covid and that the Chinese approach was “inherently biased”.