WHO quietly suspends investigation into Covid origins – Reports

Geneva: The World Health Organization (WHO) has quietly suspended the second phase of a scientific investigation into the origins of the coronavirus causing COVID-19, citing inability to carry out research in China due to world politics complications, UK scientific journal Nature reported, citing epidemiologists.

“There is no phase two,” Emerging Diseases and Zoonoses Lead at the WHO Health Emergencies Programme Maria Van Kerkhove told the journal.

The epidemiologist also said that the WHO planned to conduct the study in phases, but “that plan has changed” because “the politics across the world of this really hampered progress on understanding the origins,” according to the report.

Van Kerkhove added that WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has repeatedly engaged with Chinese authorities and called on Beijing to demonstrate openness and share COVID-19 data, the report said.

The second part of the study was set to include an audit of labs and research facilities in the area where the first cases of COVID-19 were detected in December 2019. The new study would be a part of the five-stage plan, which the WHO put together to identify where the coronavirus came from.

In March 2021, the WHO published a report of the first fact-finding mission of its experts to China’s Wuhan, where the world’s first COVID-19 outbreak occurred. Experts concluded that the leakage of the virus from a state-run laboratory in Wuhan was “extremely unlikely.” They also said that there was a high possibility that the virus was transmitted to humans from bats through another animal.


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