A Russian doctor has refuted rumors that COVID-19 originated in China, according to a recent report by Sputnik.

Doctor and TV presenter Alexander Myasnikov wrote recently on his Telegram channel that some China-related rumors are immature and others are ill-intentioned to attract public attention, Sputnik reported Wednesday.

The highly infectious disease likely appeared simultaneously around the world, Myasnikov wrote.

For example, in France, the first COVID-19 patient was infected long before the country’s first recorded case, whereas in Russia, many cases of anomalous pneumonia were already registered in the fall of 2019, he wrote.

People have been unconsciously instilled with the claim that the outbreak began in a single country, which is far from the truth, he wrote, adding that the virus should be perceived as a natural phenomenon without demonizing any country.