Covid Real-time News: Ardern blames “vaccine nationalism” for spread of mutation; WHO calls for new audit of Wuhan laboratory | World News

The World Health Organization has proposed a second phase of research on the origin of the coronavirus in China, including an audit of laboratories and markets in Wuhan, and calling on the authorities to increase transparency.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus) submitted to Member States after stating that the lack of original data on the first few days of Covid-19 transmission in China hindered the investigation The plan.

According to Reuters, he said in a speech delivered by the agency that the second phase of the work will require research on the human, wildlife and animal markets in Wuhan, including the South China wholesale market.

Tedros said that it also needs to “audit relevant laboratories and research institutions operating in the field of initial human cases discovered in December 2019.”

The diplomat stated that China, which has refused the return of international scientists, expressed opposition in closed-door talks, saying: “This plan is not the basis for future research.”

In the long-delayed report released in late March, the international team and their Chinese counterparts did not come to a clear conclusion. Instead, they ranked some hypotheses based on what they thought were possible and stayed in Wuhan and surrounding areas for four. A week later, Agence France-Presse reported.

The report stated that the spread of the virus from bats to humans through intermediate animals is the most likely scenario, and the theory about the virus leaking from the laboratory is “very unlikely”, but Adhanom Ghebreyesus broke the conclusion a few days later, saying that all assumptions are still there. thinking.

Investigations and reports have been criticized for lack of transparency and accessibility, and for failing to evaluate laboratory leak theory in depth—only 440 words in the report are devoted to discussing and dismissing it.

Some countries, including the United States, and some scientists later requested further investigations, especially the Wuhan Institute of Virology, which is conducting research on bats.

“Finding the origin of this virus is a scientific activity and must be free from political influence. To this end, we hope that China will share all relevant data in a transparent spirit to support the next stage of the scientific process,” Tedros said.

China called the theory that the virus could escape from the Wuhan laboratory “ridiculous” and has repeatedly stated that “politicizing” the issue would hinder investigations.

At today’s routine press conference, when asked about Adhanom Ghebreyesus’ earlier comments on the need to obtain more data from China, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Zhao Lijian said that some data cannot be copied or left China due to personal information. .

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About the Author: Agnes Zang