WHO calls for any intelligence on origins of pandemic

Did the virus leak from a lab?/Shutterstock Images

Claims by the US that the global pandemic was started by a leak from a Chinese laboratory, and Beijing’s denial, has led to the World Health Organization urging all countries to reveal what they know about the origins of COVID-19.

The first viral infections were in Wuhan in late 2019, a city that hosts a virus research laboratory. US Federal Bureau of Investigation Director Christopher Wray told Fox News this week that the FBI had assessed the source of the COVID-19 pandemic was “most likely a potential lab incident in Wuhan”,

“If any country has information about the origins of the pandemic, it’s essential for that information to be shared with WHO and the international scientific community,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Friday.

“Not so as to apportion blame but to advance our understanding of how this pandemic started, so we can prevent, prepare for and respond to future epidemics and pandemics,” the WHO chief said.

“WHO continues to call for [China] to be transparent in sharing data and to conduct the necessary investigations and share the results. To that effect, I have written to, and spoken with, high-level Chinese leaders on multiple occasions, as recently as just a few weeks ago.”

The WHO maintains its efforts to identify the source of COVID-19, he said.

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