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US Points At Chinese Lab Leak As Source Of Covid-19 Pandemic: All You Need To Know

US Points At Chinese Lab Leak As Source Of Covid-19 Pandemic: All You Need To Know

It has been widely reported that new intelligence has prompted the US Energy Department to believe that an accidental laboratory leak in China most likely was the source of the coronavirus pandemic.

Representational Image
Representational Image AP

Following the recent US claims of a lab leak in China's Wuhan to be the origin of the deadly Covid-19 pandemic, the World Health Organization on Friday requested all countries across the globe to reveal all available information on the same. Chinese officials have furiously denied the claim.

It has been widely reported that new intelligence has prompted the US Energy Department to believe that an accidental laboratory leak in China most likely was the source of the massive coronavirus pandemic.

As per media reports, FBI director Christopher Wray also said on Tuesday that the US Federal Bureau of Investigation had now assessed the source of Covid-19 pandemic was "most likely a potential lab incident in Wuhan".

What did WHO say?

Amid the ongoining ordeal regarding the real origin of the catastrophic virus, the World Health Organization's director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said,"If any country has information about the origins of the pandemic, it's essential for that information to be shared with WHO and the international scientific community."

"Not so as to apportion blame but to advance our understanding of how this pandemic started so we can prevent, prepare for and respond to future epidemics and pandemics",he further added.

"WHO has not abandoned any plans to identify the origins of the Covid-19 pandemic," he told reporters.

WHO seeks transparency

In a bid to expedite to process of identification, World Health Organization (WHO) set up the Scientific Advisory Group for the Origins of Novel Pathogens (SAGO) in 2021.

"WHO continues to call for China to be transparent in sharing data and to conduct the necessary investigations and share the results," said Tedros, adding that he had written and spoken to top Chinese leaders on multiple occasions.

"Until then, all hypotheses on the origins of the virus remain on the table."

The WHO chief also mentioned that politicisation of the origins research had been posing as a serious obstacle. 

The department works with a network of national laboratories, including some involved in advanced biological research. Other agencies within the US intelligence community believe the virus emerged naturally.

WHO stresses on data sharing

According to WHO's Covid-19 technical lead Maria Van Kerkhove, the WHO had reached out to the US mission in Geneva for more information.

Kerkhove, who is an infectious disease epidemiologist, further added that they were yet to gain access to the data on which the US reports were based.

"It remains vital that that information is shared", to help move the scientific studies forward, she added.

Tedros said there was a moral imperative to find out how the pandemic started, for the sake of the millions who lost their lives to Covid-19 and those living with long Covid.

More than 6.8 million Covid-19 deaths and more than 758 million confirmed cases have been reported to the WHO, which acknowledges that the true toll is far higher.

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