Close on the heels of G7 summit where world leaders discussed the probable causes of Covid-19 pandemic, World Health Organization (WHO) chief Tedros Ghebreyesus has called on China to cooperate with an investigation into the origins of the deadly virus.
Speaking to reporters after participating in parts of the summit by video, Dr. Tedros expressed hope there would be better cooperation and transparency when the next phase of the probe into the virus’s origin is underway, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported.
As you know we will need cooperation from the Chinese side,” he said. “We need transparency to understand or know or find the origin of this virus…after the report was released there were difficulties in the data sharing, especially in the raw data.” he reportedly said.
Notably, an initial probe, which concluded that a lab leak in China was unlikely, was criticized by several governments.
The US had extended support to a “timely, transparent and evidence-based independent process” for the next phase of the WHO-convened study of Covid-19 origins.
EU leaders had called for an unfettered investigation into the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic amid criticism of an initial World Health Organization probe.
The WHO study in January and February was “insufficient and inconclusive”, the U.S. mission to the U.N. in Geneva said in a statement last month, calling for what it called a timely, transparent and evidence-based second probe to be conducted, including in China, Reuters reported.
Last month, a group of leading UK and US scientists, including Indian-origin Cambridge University immunology and infectious disease expert Ravindra Gupta, on Friday called for more investigation to determine the origin of the COVID-19 pandemic, including the theory of an accidental release from a lab in the central Chinese city of Wuhan.
In a letter published in the journal ‘Science’, the experts from world leading universities such as Harvard, Stanford and MIT said knowing how COVID-19 emerged is critical for informing global strategies to mitigate the risk of future outbreaks.
They cautioned that hypotheses about both natural and laboratory spillovers must be taken seriously until there is sufficient data.