This Friday, the World Health Organization (WHO) insisted that the world needs to know the origin of the coronavirus (Covid-19). It insisted that for this, scientists need “space” enough to continue with their investigations, after the rejection of China for the organization to undertake a second phase of its inquiries in this regard.
“It is not about doing politics with this, blaming each other or pointing the finger at others, but the need we all have to understand how any pathogen can jump into the human population.” Said the spokesman for the WHO, Tarik Jasarevic.
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus last week asked China to “make it transparent and open” and provide “the raw data on the early days of the pandemic”, a request that the Government of Beijing has taken very badly.
China responded through a high national health authority that this request was “arrogant” and “lacking in common sense”.
Jasarevic confirmed today that the WHO maintains its position because “this is about science” and recalled that after a first phase of research (in which an international team of scientists traveled last February to the province of Wuhan, where the pandemic is believed to have started) now it is necessary to collect more evidence that will allow “to truly know” the origin of the virus.
To do this, he noted, the investigation needs to enter a new phase.
The WHO team who was in Wuhan asked for access to the raw data of patients registered in the city’s hospitals with symptoms similar to those of COVID-19 before the first known case of the disease was registered, but China replied that these had already been studied by the experts.
Nowadays, “all hypotheses (of the origin of the virus) are on the table.” Said the spokesperson.
These hypotheses consist in that the virus passed to the human being through an animal that acted as an intermediary (presented as the most probable), that there was a direct contagion from the animal carrying the virus or that the transmission occurred through frozen meat.
The fourth and final hypothesis, considered the least likely by experts who traveled to China, is the involuntary release of the virus by a laboratory accident.
Tedros has admitted that there was a lot of pressure to rule out such an incident and commented that these “can happen”.
“Countries have the responsibility to work together and with WHO in a spirit of cooperation and that in this way scientists have the opportunity to understand the origin of the virus and this pandemic.” Jasarevic stressed.
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