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With virus origins still obscure, WHO and critics look to next steps

The international and Chinese joint mission organized by the World Health Organization on the origins of Covid published its report last week suggesting that for almost all of the topics covered, further study was needed. What kind of study and who will do it is the question. From a report: The report suggested pursuing several avenues of investigation, focusing on the probable origin of the coronavirus in bats. He concluded that the most likely route to humans was through an intermediate animal, possibly at a wildlife farm. Among future efforts, these could include surveys of blood banks to look for cases that may have appeared before December 2019 and to look for potential animal sources of the virus on wild animal farms, the team. Critics of the report sought greater consideration of the possibility that a laboratory incident in Wuhan may have led to the first human infection. A vaguely organized group of scientists and others who have come together virtually to discuss the possibility of a lab leak released a open letter this week, detailing several ways to conduct a thorough investigation. He called for new measures, arguing that “critical records and biological samples that could provide essential information on the origins of the pandemic remain inaccessible.”

Much of the letter echoes an earlier version from the same group detailing what they saw as WHO’s mission failures. This second letter is more specific in the type of future surveys it offers. The group is seeking a new investigation that would include experts in biosafety and biosafety, one that could involve the WHO or a separate multinational effort to set up a different process to explore the beginnings of the pandemic and its consequences. origins in China. Jamie Metzl, author, senior researcher for the Atlantic Council, an international policy think tank and signatory of the scientists’ letter, said renewed calls for further investigation reflected the need for increased monitoring and restrictions on viruses that can be studied in laboratories around the world. “This is not about ganging up against China,” Metzl said. Mr Metzl’s group were among those disappointed by the report released last week, as it outright dismissed the possibility of a leak from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, calling it extremely unlikely. Further reading: Data not communicated to the WHO team on the origins of COVID-19 in China: Tedros.

With virus origins still obscure, WHO and critics look to next steps

Source link With virus origins still obscure, WHO and critics look to next steps

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