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Scientists call for a new exploration of the origin of COVID-19


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: WHO team at a press conference in Wuhan


SHANGHAI (Reuters) – A joint study between China and the World Health Organization (WHO) on COVID-19 did not give a reliable answer about how a pandemic started and what should be More stringent investigations – with or without Beijing’s involvement, an international team of researchers said Wednesday.

The joint study published last week revealed the most likely path of transmission for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, to be associated with bats and other wildlife. All but the possibility that it was leaked from a laboratory.

In an open letter, 24 scientists and researchers from Europe, the United States, Australia and Japan said the study was tinged with politics.

Jamie Metzl, senior fellow at the Atlantic Council Research Institute who led the drafting of the letter, said: “Their starting point is, let’s compromise as much as we can to get some minimal cooperation from China.

The conclusion of the study is based on unpublished Chinese research, while the vital records and biological samples are “still inaccessible,” the letter wrote.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanon Ghebreyesus’s statement that China withheld data was rejected by Liang Wannian, China’s senior COVID-19 expert. Liang also appears to refuse any joint investigation in China.

Metzl said the world may have to “go back to Plan B” and initiate further investigations without Chinese involvement.

China has denied allegations that SARS-CoV-2 was leaked from a research laboratory in Wuhan, the city where COVID-19 was first identified.

Joint research between China and WHO said the laboratory leak theory was “extremely unlikely”, and said there was “no record” of any laboratory keeping microbes. Withdrawal related to SARS-CoV-2. More research is needed, Tedros says, to “come to more solid conclusions.”

But Metzl says China should disclose information that would allow the rebuttal of the lab leak hypothesis.

“China has a database of what viruses are being kept … there are notes in the lab about the work being done,” he said.

In response to the letter on Thursday, Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said “its purpose is obvious” and that countries like the United States, not China, have committed the politicization of the source investigation. Origin of COVID-19.

“They insist on politicizing traceability, damaging and disrupting Chinese cooperation with WHO, discrediting China and openly challenging its independence and Scientific conclusions of scientists ”.

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