WHO looking at reviving probe into origins of Covid-19: Report

The global health body has reportedly set up a team of 20 experts to look for new evidence on the origins of the virus.
A logo is pictured outside a building of the World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland (File Photo/Reuters)
A logo is pictured outside a building of the World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland (File Photo/Reuters)
Published on Sep 27, 2021 09:29 AM IST
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Byhindustantimes.com, New Delhi

The World Health Organization (WHO) is reportedly considering reviving its probe into the origins of the ongoing pandemic of coronavirus disease (Covid-19). This latest development, reported by the Wall Street Journal, follows reports from August that stated that the global health body has set up a new expert group to continue its study into the origins of the virus, which allegedly originated from a laboratory in China’s Wuhan.

Also Read | WHO forms new expert group to continue studies into origins of Covid-19

The WSJ report states that the WHO has assembled a team of 20 scientists to look for new evidence, adding that this new group, which comprises specialists in laboratory safety and biosecurity, and experts in geneticists, may be tasked with determining whether Sars-CoV-2, the Covid-19 causing virus, emerged from a laboratory. The experts may also be asked to conduct a broader inquiry into the possibility of future virus risks and their links with human behaviour, according to the report.

Also Read | Can't accept WHO's plan for 2nd phase of Covid-19 origins study: China

The Geneva-headquartered WHO, it is believed, is of the opinion that reviving the investigation is the only way to accelerate this probe, which, according to global experts, is “running out of time,” with blood samples from early patients of the viral illness becoming “unusable.”

Also Read | Doubts about China's transparency on Covid-19 origins piling up: Report

Its initial study concluded that the data provided by Chinese scientists was “insufficient” to answer key questions about the origins of the virus. Separately, an inquiry conducted by the United States, too, remained “inconclusive.”

Also Read | US intel report on Covid-19 origin inconclusive

China had reacted angrily to the Joe Biden-ordered investigation, with the former’s vice foreign minister, Ma Zhaoxu, saying that the United States should “stop poisoning” the international cooperation on the exercise. Zhaoxu further said that the US should instead return to the “correct path” of tracing the origins scientifically and cooperation in the global fight against the pandemic.

(With ANI inputs

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