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Dutch Scientists Defend Patenting of Saudi Coronavirus

Dutch scientists who took out a patent on the novel coronavirus that’s killed 22 people since emerging in Saudi Arabia last year defended the move after the Saudi Health Ministry said the patent was hindering the fight against the outbreak.

Albert Osterhaus and Ron Fouchier, virologists at Erasmus Medical Center in the Netherlands, said patenting the virus was a “normal thing to do,” and that they have shared it freely with more than 40 labs worldwide, in a phone interview from Rotterdam yesterday.