Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

News

China rejects WHO plan for study of COVID-19 origin

Image via Wuhan Institute of Virology website

BEIJING — China rejected on Thursday a World Health Organization (WHO) plan for a second phase of an investigation into the origin of the coronavirus, which includes the hypothesis it could have escaped from a Chinese laboratory, a top health official said.

The WHO this month proposed a second phase of studies into the origins of the coronavirus in China, including audits of laboratories and markets in the city of Wuhan, calling for transparency from authorities.

“We will not accept such an origins-tracing plan as it, in some aspects, disregards common sense and defies science,” Zeng Yixin, vice minister of the National Health Commission (NHC), told reporters.

Mr. Zeng said he was taken aback when he first read the WHO plan because it lists the hypothesis that a Chinese violation of laboratory protocols had caused the virus to leak during research.

The head of the WHO said earlier in July that investigations into the origins of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic in China were being hampered by the lack of raw data on the first days of spread there.

Mr. Zeng reiterated China’s position that some data could not be completely shared due to privacy concerns.

“We hope the WHO would seriously review the considerations and suggestions made by Chinese experts and truly treat the origin tracing of the COVID-19 virus as a scientific matter, and get rid of political interference,” Mr. Zeng said.

China opposed politicising the study, he said.

The origin of the virus remains contested among experts.

The first known cases emerged in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in December 2019. The virus was believed to have jumped to humans from animals being sold for food at a city market.

In May, US President Joseph R. Biden. Jr., ordered aides to find answers to questions over the origin saying that US intelligence agencies were pursuing rival theories potentially including the possibility of a laboratory accident in China.

Mr. Zeng, along with other officials and Chinese experts at the news conference, urged the WHO to expand origin-tracing efforts beyond China to other countries.

“We believe a lab leak is extremely unlikely and it is not necessary to invest more energy and efforts in this regard,” said Liang Wannian, the Chinese team leader on the WHO joint expert team. More animal studies should be conducted, in particular in countries with bat populations, he said.

However, Mr. Liang said the lab leak hypothesis could not be entirely discounted but suggested that if evidence warranted, other countries could look into the possibility it leaked from their labs.

One key part of the lab leak theory has centered on the Wuhan Institute of Virology’s (WIV) decision to take offline its gene sequence and sample databases in 2019.

When asked about this decision, Yuan Zhiming, professor at WIV and the director of its National Biosafety Laboratory, told reporters that at present the databases were only shared internally due to cyber-attack concerns. — Gabriel Crossley/Reuters

Your information is secure and your privacy is protected. By opting in you agree to receive emails from us. Remember that you can opt-out any time, we hate spam too!

Latest

Editor’s Pick

People living in rural areas are having to travel further to find somewhere to withdraw and deposit cash free of charge, says the...

Editor’s Pick

Ministers have ruled out extending the list of workers who are exempt from self-isolation rules and warned that the August 16 date for...

News

Philippine-based companies that offer online gambling services to offshore markets, such as China, fueled office market growth in the country last year. — REUTERS...

News

PHILIPPINE STAR/ MICHAEL VARCAS President Rodrigo R. Duterte on Friday approved the recommendation of his pandemic task force to enforce stricter quarantine rules in...

News

https://www.sws.org.ph/ Thirty-seven percent of Filipinos are optimistic that their lives will improve over the next 12 months, a non-commissioned survey shows. Of the 1,200...

News

Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi — PHILSTAR Six electricity consumers on Friday filed a complaint with the Ombudsman against Department of Energy (DoE) Secretary...

You May Also Like

When people envision technology overtaking society, many think of The Terminator and bulletproof robots. Or Big Brother in George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, a symbol...

Financial Advisors

Stock Markets9 hours ago (Jul 02, 2020 04:45AM ET) (C) Reuters. ROME (Reuters) – World food prices rose in June to post their first...

Economy

SAN FRANCISCO — The spread of the coronavirus has meant feast or famine for technology start-ups. While many are cutting staff and slashing costs...

Economy

In Wisconsin and Ohio, farmers are dumping thousands of gallons of fresh milk into lagoons and manure pits. An Idaho farmer has dug huge...

Disclaimer: Respect Investment.com, its managers, its employees, and assigns (collectively "The Company") do not make any guarantee or warranty about what is advertised above. Information provided by this website is for research purposes only and should not be considered as personalized financial advice. The Company is not affiliated with, nor does it receive compensation from, any specific security. The Company is not registered or licensed by any governing body in any jurisdiction to give investing advice or provide investment recommendation. Any investments recommended here should be taken into consideration only after consulting with your investment advisor and after reviewing the prospectus or financial statements of the company.

Copyright © 2021 Respect Investment. All Rights Reserved.

Your information is secure and your privacy is protected. By opting in you agree to receive emails from us. Remember that you can opt-out any time, we hate spam too!