The World Well being Organisation reiterated Friday that the brand new coronavirus was of pure origin after US President Donald Trump claimed he had seen proof it originated in a Chinese language lab.
Scientists imagine the killer virus jumped from animals to people, rising in China late final yr, presumably from a market in Wuhan promoting unique animals for meat.
Trump claimed Thursday that he had seen proof that the Wuhan Institute of Virology was really the supply of the outbreak, though he refused to offer particulars.
Requested about Trump’s declare throughout a digital press convention, WHO emergencies chief Michael Ryan burdened that the UN well being company had “listened again and again to numerous scientists who have looked at the sequences” of the virus.
“We are assured that this virus is natural in origin,” he mentioned, reiterating a stance the UN company has expressed beforehand.
The WHO mentioned earlier Friday that it wished to be invited to participate in Chinese language investigations into the animal origins of the pandemic, which in a matter of months has killed greater than 230,000 individuals worldwide.
“What is important is that we establish what that natural host for this virus is,” Ryan mentioned, stressing the necessity to perceive “how the animal-human species barrier was breached.”
“And the purpose of understanding that is that we can put in place the necessary prevention and public health measures to prevent that happening again anywhere,” he mentioned.
WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in the meantime continued Friday to push again towards criticism lobbed at his organisation, by Trump particularly, who suspended Washington’s funding after accusing the UN company of downplaying the seriousness of the outbreak and kowtowing to China.
WHO Didn’t Waste Time
Tedros mentioned the WHO had sounded the best stage of alert by declaring that the COVID-19 outbreak constituted a “public health emergency of international concern” on January 30, when there have been no deaths and solely 82 circumstances registered exterior China.
“We didn’t waste any time,” he advised Friday’s briefing. “The world had enough time to intervene.”
His feedback got here after WHO’s emergency committee met for the primary time since making its declaration three months in the past.
“Of course, the pandemic remains a public health emergency of international concern,” Tedros mentioned after receiving the suggestions from the committee, made up of 19 impartial specialists.
Whereas sustaining the worldwide alert stage, the specialists made a variety of basic suggestions on how the WHO and nations ought to modify their response to the pandemic.
It referred to as amongst different issues for broad cooperation to “identify the zoonotic source of the virus and the route of introduction to the human population.”
It additionally referred to as on WHO to “update recommendations on appropriate travel measures” linked to the outbreak, and to contemplate “the balance between benefits and unintended consequences,” such because the difficulties of transporting humanitarian assist when so many flights are grounded.