WHO open to all hypotheses on coronavirus origins, says Tedros

GENEVA: The World Health Organization’s (WHO) team probing coronavirus origins, which is on a visit to China’s Wuhan, the first Covid-19 hotspot, will publish a preliminary report next week, said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Friday.
The WHO chief said the Wuhan visit has been an important scientific exercise, adding that they are open to all hypotheses and require further analysis and studies.
Addressing a press briefing, Tedros told reporters, “Some questions have been raised as to whether some hypotheses have been discarded. Having spoken with some members of the team, I wish to confirm that all hypotheses remain open and require further analysis and studies.”
“This has been a very important scientific exercise in very difficult circumstances. The expert team is working on a summary report which we hope will be published next week, and the full final report will be published in the coming weeks,” he added.
Moreover, the WHO chief stated the expert team would not find all the answers, but the mission achieved a better understanding of the early days of the pandemic.
“We have also said that this mission would not find all the answers, but it has added important information that takes us closer to understanding the origins of the virus. The mission achieved a better understanding of the early days of the pandemic and identified areas for further analysis and research,” he said.
Following a 12-day visit to China to probe the origins of Covid-19 in Wuhan, a WHO team, earlier this week, dismissed the theory of a ‘lab leak’ of the virus.
According to Washington Post, Peter Ben Embarek, the Danish WHO food safety expert leading the international team, had said his group will not recommend further investigation into the theory that the virus accidentally leaked from labs conducting coronavirus research.
Meanwhile, the US has expressed a desire to scrutinize data used by the WHO team, which concluded that the virus causing Covid-19 did not originate in a laboratory in Wuhan.
According to Johns Hopkins University, 108,172,346 Covid-19 cases have been recorded globally and 2,382,336 deaths. The United States continues to the worst affected country by the pandemic with over 27,489,619 cases.

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