WHO chief says all Covid origins hypotheses ‘need further study’

Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organisation

The WHO’s chief said Monday that all hypotheses on the Covid-19 pandemic’s origins remained open and needed further study, having read the report from international experts’ mission to Wuhan.

“All hypotheses are open, from what I read from the report… and warrant complete and further studies,” World Health Organization director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a virtual press conference from Geneva.

Earlier today, a joint WHO-China study on the origins of COVID-19 said that transmission of the virus from bats to humans through another animal is the most likely scenario and that a lab leak is “extremely unlikely” reported AP.

The findings offer little new insight into how the virus first emerged and leave many questions unanswered, though that was as expected. But the report does provide more detail on the reasoning behind the researchers’ conclusions. The team proposed further research in every area except the lab leak hypothesis.

The report is being closely watched since discovering the origins of the virus could help scientists prevent future pandemics — but it’s also extremely sensitive since China bristles at any suggestion that it is to blame for the current one. Repeated delays in the report’s release have raised questions about whether the Chinese side was trying to skew its conclusions.

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