China Has Rejected A WHO Plan For Additional Investigation Into The Origins Of COVID-19


On this Could 24, 2021 file picture, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director Basic of the WHO, speaks at WHO headquarters, in Geneva, Switzerland. The WHO is asking China to be extra clear as scientists seek for the origins of the coronavirus.

Laurent Gillieron/AP

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Laurent Gillieron/AP

On this Could 24, 2021 file picture, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director Basic of the WHO, speaks at WHO headquarters, in Geneva, Switzerland. The WHO is asking China to be extra clear as scientists seek for the origins of the coronavirus.

Laurent Gillieron/AP

BEIJING — China can not settle for the World Well being Group’s plan for the second part of a research into the origins of COVID-19, a senior Chinese language well being official mentioned Thursday.

Zeng Yixin, the vice minister of the Nationwide Well being Fee, mentioned he was “somewhat bowled over” that the plan contains additional investigation of the speculation that the virus may need leaked from a Chinese language lab.

He dismissed the lab leak thought as a rumor that runs counter to frequent sense and science.

“It’s unimaginable for us to simply accept such an origin-tracing plan,” he mentioned at a information convention referred to as to handle the COVID-19 origins situation.

The seek for the place the virus got here from has change into a diplomatic situation that has fueled China’s deteriorating relations with the U.S. and plenty of American allies. The U.S. and others say that China has not been clear about what occurred within the early days of the pandemic. China accuses critics of looking for responsible it for the pandemic and politicizing a difficulty that must be left to scientists.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director-general of WHO, acknowledged final week that there had been a “untimely push” after the primary part of the research to rule out the speculation that the virus may need escaped from a Chinese language authorities lab in Wuhan, the town the place the illness was first detected in late 2019.

Most specialists do not suppose a lab leak is the doubtless trigger. The query is whether or not the chance is so distant that it must be dropped, or whether or not it deserves additional research.

The primary part was carried out earlier this yr by a global staff of scientists who got here to Wuhan to work with their Chinese language counterparts. The staff was accused of bowing to calls for from the Chinese language facet after it initially indicated that additional research wasn’t obligatory.

Zeng mentioned the Wuhan lab has no virus that may instantly infect people and famous that the WHO staff concluded {that a} lab leak was extremely unlikely. He added that hypothesis that workers and graduate college students on the lab had been contaminated and may need began the unfold of the virus within the metropolis was unfaithful.

Yuan Zhiming, the director of the biosafety lab on the Wuhan Institute of Virology, mentioned they’d not saved or studied the brand new coronavirus earlier than the outbreak. “I wish to emphasize that …. the Wuhan Institute of Virology has by no means designed, made or leaked the novel coronavirus,” he mentioned.

The WHO staff concluded that the virus most definitely jumped from animals to people, most likely from bats to an intermediate animal. The specialists visited markets in Wuhan that had offered dwell animals, and advisable additional research of the farms that provided the market.

“Within the subsequent step, I feel animal tracing ought to nonetheless be the precedence path. It’s the most dear area for our efforts,” Liang Wannian, who headed the Chinese language facet, mentioned at Thursday’s information convention.

Tedros mentioned final week that he hoped for higher cooperation and entry to information from China. “We’re asking China to be clear, open and cooperate, particularly on the knowledge, uncooked information that we requested for within the early days of the pandemic,” he mentioned.

His phrases have been echoed on the identical digital information convention by Germany’s well being minister, Jens Spahn, who referred to as on China to accentuate cooperation within the seek for the origin of the virus.

Zeng mentioned China has at all times supported “scientific virus tracing” and needs to see the research prolonged to different nations and areas. “Nonetheless, we’re against politicizing the tracing work,” he mentioned.

China has steadily sought to deflect accusations that the pandemic originated in Wuhan and was allowed to unfold by early bureaucratic missteps and an tried coverup.

Authorities spokespersons have referred to as for an investigation into whether or not the virus may need been produced in a U.S. navy laboratory, a principle not broadly shared within the scientific group.

China has largely ended native transmission of COVID by lockdowns and mask-wearing necessities, and has now administered greater than 1.4 billion doses of Chinese language vaccines. Simply 12 new domestically unfold instances have been reported Thursday and China’s loss of life toll from the virus has remained unchanged for months at 4,636.

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