CM – China needs to work better with Covid origin probe – WHO

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GENEVA, Switzerland – The WHO chief called on China on Thursday to be more cooperative and demand more access to raw data in the next phase of investigations into the origins of the pandemic.

In a conversation with reporters in Geneva also acknowledged Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus that a previous attempt to rule out the possibility that Covid-19 could have escaped from a laboratory was « premature ». He said that the WHO is laying the groundwork for new research to be carried out Origin of Covid-19 and added: « We hope that there will be better cooperation to get to the bottom of the events ».

The UN health authority is facing increasing pressure to create a new one to conduct a more in-depth investigation into the origins of Covid-19.

It was only in January, more than a year after the first appearance of Covid-19 in late 2019, that the WHO was able to send a team of independent, international experts to China’s Wuhan, for your To help Chinese counterparts investigate the origins of the pandemic.

Tedros admitted Thursday that one of the key challenges during the first phase of the investigation was « access to raw data … the raw data was not shared. » And now we have drafted the second phase of the study and we are actually demanding transparency, openness and cooperation from China, especially on the … raw data we asked for (in) the early days of the pandemic. ”

The long delayed report After the first phase of the investigation was published in late March, the international team and their Chinese colleagues failed to draw firm conclusions about the origins of the pandemic.

Instead, they ranked a number of hypotheses according to their likelihood and found that the Virus most likely spread from bats to humans via an intermediate animal, while a theory suggests that the Viru s leaks from a laboratory that was considered « extremely unlikely ». .

The investigation and the report were criticized for a lack of transparency and accessibility and because they did not lower the value of the laboratory leak theory – only 440 words of the report were devoted to discussion and rejection.

Long as right Conspiracy theory mocked and vehemently rejected by Beijing, the idea that Covid-19 may have emerged from a laboratory leak is gaining traction, especially in the US.

Tedros, who stressed that all theories came up immediately after the report was published stayed at the table, repeated on Thursday that further investigation of the laboratory leak hypothesis was necessary.

The WHO chief, who is an immunologist, emphasized that he had previously worked as a laboratory technician himself, « and laboratory accidents happen ».

« It’s normal. I’ve seen it happen, » he said, emphasizing that « it’s important to check what happened, especially in our laboratories ».

« We need information, direct information about what the situation of these laboratories was like before, at the beginning of the pandemic. »

Tedros had previously complained that the international team did not have all the raw data necessary for a proper assessment .

Referring to the more than four million official deaths from Covid worldwide, the WHO chief said: « I think we owe it to you to know what happened. »

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