COVID-19: WHO is still working to determine the source
The World Health Organization (WHO) is still working to determine the origin of the COVID-19 pandemic, the organization’s director general said on Friday, after a US agency was reported to be… assessed that the pandemic could have been caused by a Chinese laboratory leak.
“I have written and spoken to China’s senior leaders many times, most recently a few weeks ago… all theories about the origin of the virus are still on the table,” said the director general. WHO Director Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.
The Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday that the US Department of Energy had concluded that the pandemic likely arose from a Chinese laboratory leak, an assessment Beijing denies.
“I want to make it clear that WHO is not abandoning any plans to identify the source of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Tedros said.
The magazine said the US Department of Energy gave its ruling with “low confidence” in a classified intelligence report recently provided to the White House and key members of Congress.
Four other US agencies, along with the national intelligence council, still believe that COVID-19 is likely the result of natural transmission, while two are still undecided, the Journal reported. .
Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO’s technical lead on COVID-19, expressed disappointment on Twitter on Thursday that the US had not shared more information with WHO about reports assessing the origins of the virus.
On Friday, she urged countries, organizations and research groups that have any information on the origins of the pandemic to share with the international community.
“We have absolutely no answers as to how this pandemic started and it is extremely important that we continue to focus on this,” she said.
She says it’s important to study the types of coronaviruses circulating in animals and how people come into contact with those animals.
“Our work continues in this space: looking at human studies, looking at animal studies, looking at studies of the human-animal interface, and looking at micro-organisms. potential biosecurity and biosecurity breach for any laboratory working with coronaviruses, especially those first detected in Wuhan, China or elsewhere,” she said.