The scientists said pangolins cannot be directly implicated in the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 to humans.

Pangolins that were smuggled into China carry coronaviruses that are closely related to the one behind the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a study which sheds more light on the origins of the deadly virus.

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However, the study, published in the journal Nature, said the degree of similarity between the virus in the small anteater mammals, and the one causing the pandemic is not sufficient to suggest that the animals are the intermediate hosts behind the current outbreak.