United States urges WHO to carry out second phase of COVID-19 virus origin study in China
Apart from the second phase of the COVID-19 virus origin study in China, the US has also called for the full access of original data and samples to independent experts.
The United States of America on May 27, 2021, urged the World Health Organisation to carry out the second phase of its investigation into the origin of Coronavirus in China. The country has called for the full access of original data and samples to independent experts.
The team led by WHO had spent four weeks in and around Wuhan, China in January and February 2021 with Chinese researchers.
The US President Joe Biden on May 26, 2021, had also ordered aides to find answers to the origin of the virus. He stated that the US Intelligence agencies have been pursuing rival theories which include the possibility of a laboratory accident in China.
US Claims initial WHO study to be inconclusive:
After calling WHO to carry out the second phase of investigation in COVID-19 origin, the U.S. mission to the U.N. in Geneva in a statement on May 27 called the initial WHO study to be ‘insufficient and inconclusive’. The country has also asked for a timely, transparent, and evidence-based second phase of a study to be conducted, including in China.
WHO reconsiders COVID-19 lab origin theory in China:
However, with the latest development, the global health body has been reconsidering China’s role in the COVID-19 origin on the basis of the overlooked data which provides an intriguing insight into China’s evolving knowledge of the virus.
The top emergency expert of WHO, Mike Ryan informed the annual meeting of health ministers on May 26 that the global health body has had consultations with many member states to look at what happens in the next phase and will continue to have those discussions.
UK calls for transparent phase two study:
In a separate statement, Britain’s ambassador to the UN in Geneva, Simon Manley said that phase one of the WHO-convened COVID-19 origins study was meant to be the start of the process and not the end.
He added that Britain calls for a transparent, timely, expert-led, and evidence-based phase two study, including in China, as recommended by the report of experts.
What does China say?
The Chinese government, through the remarks by a representative at its embassy in the US, mentioned that it has supported a comprehensive study of all the early cases of COVID-19 that were found worldwide and has also cooperated through a thorough investigation into some of the secretive bases and biological laboratories all over the world.
Previous report by WHO on COVID-19 origin: Background
The report which was released in March 2021 by the WHO team, which spent four weeks in China in January and February, had stated that the virus had probably been transmitted from the bats to the humans through other animals and that ‘the introduction of the virus through a laboratory incident was considered to be an extremely unlikely pathway’.