The World Health Organization Director-general said further research is needed to conclusively rule that coronavirus emerged from a China laboratory.
Tedros Adhanom said that although a laboratory leak was the least likely cause, more research was required.
America and other nations have criticized China for failing to provide the WHO with sufficient information. Beijing has consistently dismissed the allegations of a coronavirus leak.
On Tuesday, WHO and Chinese experts released a report and said the lab leak explanation was highly questionable. Moreover, the virus had possibly jumped from bats to humans via another intermediary animal.
China has yet to respond to the WHO’s up-to-date statement.
The hypothesis remains on the table
However, Dr. Tedros said Tuesday that the theory that the COVID-19 might have come from a leak in a laboratory needs further investigation, potential with additional missions involving specialist experts.
Moreover, he said to let him say clearly that all hypotheses remain on the table as far as World Health Organization is concerned.
The coronavirus was first identified in Wuhan, in China’s Hubei province, in December 2019. An international team of experts traveled to the city in January 2020 to probe the virus’s origin.
Their investigation and research relied on samples and evidence furnished by Chinese officials, but Dr. Tedros said the team had difficulty accessing raw data and called for more timely and comprehensive information sharing in the future.
The team investigated all likelihoods, including one theory that the virus had originated at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, the world’s leading authority and institute on collecting, storing, and studying bat coronaviruses.
In response to the WHO report, the United States and thirteen allies, including Australia, Czechia, Canada, Denmark, Israel, Estonia, Japan, Lithuania, Latvia, the Republic of Korea, Norway, Slovenia, the United Kingdom, voiced concern over the findings and urged Beijing to provide full access to experts.
The statement said that there was a significant delay in Wuhan’s mission and lacked access to complete, original information and samples. Scientific tasks like these should perform their work under circumstances that produce independent and objective findings and recommendations.
Tedros said that to recognize the earliest cases, scientists would benefit from full access to information, including biological samples, from at least September 2019. Moreover, they haven’t yet found the virus source, and they must continue to follow the science and leave no stone unturned.
The group vowed to work together with the World Health Organization.
Former American President Donald Trump was among those who supported the theory that the coronavirus might have escaped from a laboratory.
Peter Ben Embarek, WHO investigation team leader, said Tuesday that his team felt under political pressure, including outside China, but stated he was never under pressure to eliminate anything from the team’s final report.
Moreover, he also confirmed his team found no evidence that any labs in Wuhan were having any involvement in the virus outbreak.
Dr. Embarek also stated that it was perfectly probable that cases were circulating in the Wuhan area in November 2019. China informed the WHO about cases on January 3, a month after the first reported infection.
Beijing has always refuted claims the virus originated in a lab and said that although Wuhan is where the first cluster of cases was detected, it isn’t fundamentally where it originated.
Global COVID-19 Cases Toll
Moreover, national media has claimed that the coronavirus may have arrived in Wuhan on frozen food imports.
The nation has primarily brought its outbreak under control through quick mass testing, severe lock-downs, and strict travel restrictions.
Worldwide, more than 128M people have caught the coronavirus since its first detection, and more than 2.8M people died from it. Fortunately, 72.6M recovered from deadly virus infection.