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WHO says coronavirus unlikely to have leaked from China lab

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The coronavirus is unlikely to have leaked from a Chinese lab and is more likely to have jumped to humans from an animal, a World Health Organization expert said Tuesday.

WHO food safety and animal diseases expert Peter Ben Embarek made the assessment at the end of a visit to the central Chinese city of Wuhan, where a team of scientists is investigating the possible origins of the coronavirus. The first cases were discovered in the city in December 2019.

The Wuhan Institute of Virology has collected intensive virus samples, leading to allegations that it could have brought on the unique outbreak by leaking the virus into the encompassing group. China has strongly rejected that chance and has promoted different theories that the virus could have originated elsewhere. The crew is contemplating a number of theories for the way the illness first ended up in people.

“Our initial findings suggest that the introduction through an intermediary host species is the most likely pathway and one that will require more studies and more specific, targeted research,” Embarek mentioned.

“However, the findings suggest that the laboratory incidents hypothesis is extremely unlikely to explain the introduction of the virus to the human population,” Embarek mentioned.

Transmission by means of the commerce in frozen merchandise was additionally a probable chance, Embarek mentioned.

Members of the World Health Organization (WHO) crew, tasked with investigating the origins of the coronavirus illness (COVID-19), don private safety fits throughout a go to on the Hubei Animal Epidemic Disease Prevention and Control Center in Wuhan, Hubei province, China February 2, 2021. (Source: Reuters)

Along with the institute, the WHO crew that features specialists from 10 nations has visited hospitals, analysis institutes, a standard market tied to the outbreak and different websites on their go to.

READ MORE  WHO official says Wuhan probe does not dramatically change picture of outbreak

The go to by the WHO crew took months to negotiate after China solely agreed to it amid huge worldwide stress on the World Health Assembly assembly final May, and Beijing has continued to deny requires a strictly unbiased investigation.

Chinese authorities have saved a good maintain on details about the doable causes of the pandemic that has now sickened greater than 105 million individuals and killed greater than 2.2 million worldwide.

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