WHO says additional work needed to rule out China’s laboratory leak theory

Security guards continue to monitor outside the Wuhan Institute of Vase

China rejected allegations of leakage from Wuhan Institute

The head of the World Health Organization (WHO) said further research is needed to conclusively determine that Covid-19 has emerged from a Chinese laboratory.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the lab leak was the least likely cause, but further investigation is needed.

The United States and other countries have criticized China for not providing enough data to WHO.

Beijing has always dismissed allegations of virus leaks.

According to a report by WHO and Chinese experts released on Tuesday, there was little explanation for the leak in the laboratory, and the virus probably leapt from bats to humans via another intermediate animal.

China has not yet responded to the latest WHO statement.

“All hypotheses on the table”

However, the theory that the virus may have come from a laboratory leak “may involve additional missions involving experts and requires further investigation,” Dr. Tedros said on Tuesday. It was.

“As far as WHO is concerned, let me be clear that all hypotheses remain in the table,” he added.

The virus was first detected in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China in late 2019. An international team of experts visited the city in January to investigate the origin of the virus.

Although their study relied on samples and evidence provided by Chinese authorities, Dr. Tedros said the team had difficulty accessing raw data, and in the future “more timely and comprehensive.” Data sharing “.

Doctor holding a baby and wearing PPE

Wuhan was the first and worst virus-damaged city in China

The team investigated all possibilities, including one theory that the virus originated at the Wuhan Institute of Vase. The institute is one of the world’s leading authorities on the collection, storage and research of bat coronaviruses.

International criticism

13 allies including the United States and South Korea, Australia and the United Kingdom in response to WHO reports Expressing concerns about the findings He urged China to provide “full access” to professionals.

According to the statement, the mission to Wuhan was “significantly delayed and lacked access to complete original data and samples.”

“Scientific missions like this should be able to work under conditions that produce independent, objective recommendations and findings.”

The group has promised to work with WHO.

Former US President Donald Trump was one of those who supported the theory that the virus might have escaped from the laboratory.

WHO research team leader Peter Ben Embarek felt on Tuesday that his team was under political pressure, including outside of China, but was forced to remove anything from the team’s final report. Said not.

He also confirmed that his team found no evidence that any of the Wuhan laboratories were involved in the outbreak.

WHO International Team members arrive at Wuhan Institute of Virology

Members of the WHO team visited the Wuhan Institute of Virology as part of the investigation.

Dr. Embarak also said that the possibility of a case prevalence in the Wuhan area in October or November 2019 is “fully possible.” China notified WHO of the case on January 3, one month after the first report of the infection.

China has always refuted allegations that the virus originated in the laboratory, saying that Wuhan is where the first cluster of cases was detected, but not necessarily where the virus originated.

The state media has a virus May have arrived in Wuhan by importing frozen foods..

The country has primarily curbed its outbreaks through rapid mass inspections, strict blockades, and strict travel restrictions.

Since the virus was first identified, more than 127 million people worldwide have been infected with the virus, and more than 2.7 million are known to have died from the virus.