- Scientific evidence of the zoonotic origin renders theories such as a laboratory manufacture of the virus "highly unlikely," as elaborated by the agency's experts.
- China's Liang Wannian said that in the two months before December 2019, there is no evidence that the virus was in the city.
- The arrival of the scientific team caused controversy due to obstacles from Beijing.
The World Health Organization (WHO) team investigating the origin of the coronavirus in Wuhan, China, has certified the animal origin of the virus. However, it considers that no sufficiently solid evidence has been found to conclude that it originated from bats or pangolins, which it has identified as “potential candidates.”
The WHO team pointed out that it could also have sprung from other animal species.
Scientific evidence of the zoonotic origin renders theories such as a laboratory manufacture of the virus “highly unlikely,” as elaborated by the agency’s experts.
Liang Wannian, head of the expert COVID panel at China’s National Health Commission, opined that despite the fact that the coronaviruses identified in bats and pangolins are very similar to COV-SARS-2, it has not been possible to determine that these mammals are the origin.
Liang added that the contagion, detected in mink and other mustelid species, suggests that these animals may be other potential reservoirs.
Liang has guaranteed that scientific evidence points to an important “outbreak” in the Huanan Seafood Market in Wuhan, which is understood as the origin of the pandemic. However, they have not been able to identify if it was the first.
The WHO team has detected the genetic trace of the virus in the early stages of the pandemic and believes that the virus had already circulated for several weeks before the first case was identified in Wuhan.
In any case, however, they have found no evidence of the presence of the virus in Wuhan before December 2019. Liang Wannian said that in the two months before December 2019, there is no evidence that the virus was in the city.
The Chinese expert considers it “unlikely” that there was any transmission of the virus in those two months and affirms that the early circulation of the coronavirus occurred several weeks before the first cases were detected. This “may explain the failure of its detection in other regions” outside of China.
Tracking the Frozen Product Chain
In this sense, the WHO says there is “potential” to investigate the supply chain of frozen products to market in Wuhan, and thus reach the source of the virus. This could also be so in others regions of China and abroad.
This has been explained by Peter Ben Embareck, a Danish scientist and director of programs at the World Health Organization.
It was in Wuhan that the first cases of COVID-19 were reported in December 2019. Since then, the new virus has spread around the world, killing more than 2.3 million people, leading to an unprecedented international health crisis.
The WHO team of epidemiologists arrived in Wuhan to investigate the origin of the new coronavirus.
The arrival of the scientific team caused controversy after the director-general of the WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, claimed to be “very disappointed” by the obstacles that Beijing was putting on the mission, although the Chinese authorities denied the allegations.