A team of 14 countries has expressed concern over a new report by the World Health Organization (WHO) on the origin of the coronavirus, citing delays and lack of full access to data, calling for further investigation into the organisation’s own core theory that the outbreak was the result of a laboratory leak.
The The most anticipated study On Tuesday, the agency’s Chinese city of Wuhan, where the novel’s virus was detected, was based on an investigation into the first discovery mission.
After a four-week visit, the WHO team of 17 international experts decided in the report that it was not “highly likely” that the Covid-19 emerged from a lab leak, a position that the United States advanced early last year. China has vehemently denied such allegations.
Instead, scientists said it was a “probable” virus that was introduced into humans through an intermediate host, and it was “probable” that the virus was transmitted from animal to human.
Later on Tuesday, 14 countries, including the United States, Australia, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia and Israel, said in a statement that they “fully” supported the WHO’s efforts to stop the epidemic, realizing how it had “started and spread”. .
However, they added that “international expert research on the source of the SRS-Covi-2 virus has been significantly delayed and there was a lack of access to complete, original data and samples” We voiced our fate concerns.
Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, the Republic of Korea, Slovenia and the United Kingdom also co-signed the statement.
Separately on Tuesday, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Gherbias called for more research to reach a “stronger decision”.
“I do not believe this assessment was comprehensive enough,” he told a news briefing on Tuesday.
Tedros added, “Although the team has decided that a laboratory leak is less of a possible hypothesis, further investigation is needed, involving potential additional experts, which I am ready to hire,” Tedros added.
China’s foreign ministry has sharply criticized the WHO chief, saying Beijing has fully “demonstrated its generosity, transparency and responsible attitude”.
“The politicization of this issue will only severely hamper global cooperation in the study of origins, threaten anti-epidemic cooperation and cost more lives,” the ministry said in a statement.
The European Union called the report a “helpful first step” and called for “relevant authorities” to assist, highlighting the “need to do more”, without naming China.
Discussing his research, Peter Ben Mbarek, head of the China Travel Research Team, said the report is not a statistical product, but a dynamic one), adding new analysis.
So far, Embrek said, there is no evidence or proof that a laboratory in Wuhan, a city housing virology facility, could be involved in the leak accident.
“It’s not impossible,” he said, referring to accidents in laboratories in the past. “But we haven’t heard or seen or seen anything that guarantees a different conclusion,” he added.
The inability of the WHO mission to still know where or how the virus spread among the people means that tensions will continue over how the epidemic began – and China has aided or abetted efforts to find it or, as the United States alleges.
Embrac said party members faced political pressure “from all sides”, but stressed: “We have never been pressured to remove critical elements in our report.”
“We did not have full access to the raw information we wanted, it was kept as a recommendation for future research,” he added.