Scientists call for new probe into COVID-19 origins – with or without China

Scientists call for new probe into COVID-19 origins - with or without China
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Shanghai, April 8

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 A joint China-World Health Organization (WHO) research into COVID-19 has supplied no credible solutions about how the pandemic started, and extra rigorous investigations are required—with or without Beijing’s involvement, a bunch of worldwide scientists and researchers mentioned on Wednesday.

The joint research, launched final week, mentioned the likeliest transmission route for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, concerned bats and different wildlife in China and southeast Asia. It all however dominated out the chance it had leaked from a laboratory.

In an open letter, 24 scientists and researchers from Europe, the United States, Australia and Japan mentioned the research was tainted by politics.

“Their starting point was, let’s have as much compromise as is required to get some minimal cooperation from China,” mentioned Jamie Metzl, senior fellow on the Atlantic Council suppose tank, who drafted the letter.

The letter mentioned the research’s conclusions have been primarily based on unpublished Chinese analysis, whereas important data and organic samples “remain inaccessible”.

WHO Director General Tedros Adhanon Ghebreyesus mentioned final week China had withheld knowledge.

Liang Wannian, China’s senior COVID-19 knowledgeable, denied this and appeared to rule out any additional joint investigations in China, saying the main target ought to shift to different nations.

Metzl mentioned the world may need to “revert to Plan B” and conduct an investigation “in the most systematic way possible” without China’s involvement.

China has rejected allegations that SARS-CoV-2 leaked from a analysis laboratory in Wuhan, town the place COVID-19 was first recognized.

The joint China-WHO research mentioned the lab leak was “extremely unlikely”, saying there was “no record” that any laboratory had saved SARS-CoV-2-associated viruses. Tedros mentioned extra analysis was required to “reach more robust conclusions”.

Metzl mentioned China ought to disclose data that will enable the lab speculation to be disproved.

“China has databases of what viruses have been being held…

there are lab notes of the work that was being finished,” he said, “There are all types of scientists who’re really doing the work and we do not have entry to any of these assets, or any of these individuals.”

—    Reuters

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