The World Health Organisation (WHO) chief called Tuesday for investigators and urged a deeper investigation into lab leak coronavirus origins theory, AFP reported.
WHO chief calls for deeper investigation into coronavirus lab-leak theory
“Although the team has concluded that a laboratory leak is the least likely hypothesis, this requires further investigation, potentially with additional missions involving specialist experts, which I am ready to deploy,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a briefing to WHO member states.
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus welcomed a long-delayed report from an international team that went for probing. The mission was to find how the virus that causes COVID-19 first transferred to humans.
But during a briefing to member states, he emphasized it also “raises further questions that will need to be addressed by further studies”.
The report prepared by WHO-approved international experts and their Chinese peers did not bring any concrete results. But it ranked a range of hypotheses.
U.S., UK and 12 other countries in joint statement on WHO report: "The [study] on the source of the SARS-CoV-2 virus was significantly delayed and lacked access to complete, original data and samples" pic.twitter.com/0qEkAopTKB
— BNO Newsroom (@BNODesk) March 30, 2021
Lab-leak hypothesis highly unlikely
According to AFP, the report had judged a lab-leak hypothesis highly unlikely. It said the virus causing Covid-19 had most probably transferred from bats to humans through an agent animal.
The WHO chief also expressed concern that the international expert team had shared the difficulties they faced in accessing raw data while in China.
“I expect future collaborative studies to include more timely and comprehensive data sharing,” he said.
The report came after more than a year into the pandemic. The deadly virus killed around 2.8 million people worldwide. While many countries are struggling with new waves of infections.
New international treaty
World leaders demanded a new international treaty to fight against future pandemics.
“Together, we must be better prepared to predict, prevent, detect, assess and effectively respond to pandemics in a highly coordinated fashion,” they demanded.
On Tuesday, Italy announced to impose a five-day quarantine on travelers coming from other EU countries. Whereas Germany will increase checks along land borders to make sure that people coming are not Covid positive.
In Berlin and Munich, local officials again halted vaccines with the AstraZeneca jab for under-60s after new reports of rare blood clots among patients. But they called it a precautionary measure.
And the Prime Minister of Slovakia, Igor Matovic resigned over his response to the pandemic.