Health Care

Possibility Covid-19 came from a lab needs further investigation, World Health Organization says

Possibility Covid-19 came from a lab needs further investigation, World Health Organization says”

"We believe that this joint study by World Health Organization and China will play a good role in promoting global traceability cooperation", it added.

Joined by several team members for a news conference, Ben Embarek said that "where we did not have full access to all the raw data we wanted, that has been put as a recommendation for the future studies". WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyses said that global experts will hold press conferences to explain what came out in their investigation.

The WHO - and Dr Tedros himself - have been criticised for being too close to China so this veiled rebuke will be welcomed by some.

Still, the report noted that the Wuhan CDC laboratory moved in early December to a location near the Huanan market, and "such moves can be disruptive for the operations of any laboratory".

The report concluded that the introduction of the virus from an intermediate host is the most likely scenario - which means the virus "jumped" from one species to another, and then jumped from the second species to humans.

"I'd also would like to inquire as to the extent in which the people who were on that group had access directly to the data that they would need to make a determination", he said.

Although the team concluded that a leak from a Wuhan laboratory was the least likely hypothesis for the virus that causes COVID-19, Tedros said the issue required further investigation, potentially with more missions to China.

"It is clear that that the Chinese government has not provided all the data needed and, until they do, firmer conclusions will be hard", he said in a statement.

"Let me say clearly that as far as World Health Organization is concerned, all hypothesis remain on the table", he added. We have not yet found the source of the virus and we must continue to follow the science and leave no stone unturned as we do. "No single research trip can provide all the answers", he said.

More news: World Health Organization report on COVID-19 origin inconclusive, calls for further studies

China has refuted the claims and says that although Wuhan is where the first cluster of cases was detected, it is not necessarily where the virus originated. The investigation team also had problems getting an entry in Wuhan.

The report is the result of a four-week mission to the Chinese city of Wuhan that happened in January and February.

The expert team of 10 worldwide investigators, 17 Chinese counterparts and 10 members of other agencies spent four weeks in China in January and February.

Critics pointed to the team's heavy reliance on Chinese data for its initial conclusions, while others say the great bulk of that data suggests the virus emerged in the country anyway.

The WHO team's leader, Peter Ben Embarek, told a press briefing it was "perfectly possible" the virus had been circulating in November or October 2019 around Wuhan, and so potentially spreading overseas earlier than documented so far.

"Of course they could help us gain a much better understanding of the start of the epidemic if we had access or could take these cases".

While the team had looked at the lab incident possibility, "since it was not the key or main focus of the studies it did not receive the same depth or attention as the other hypothesis", Embarek added.

Ryan's announcements come after a surge in cases in the recorded world over the past week, "It doesn't seem realistic to think we can end this virus by the end of this year", he added. We had nothing to hide. This was due to many reasons, he said, noting that restrictions on privacy laws and the sheer scale of the data were also a challenge.



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