The World Health Organization (WHO) has accused China of withholding critical data related to the origins of Covid-19. The data in question could provide clues to whether the virus originated from animals and how it spread to humans.
The accusation came as a part of a report released by the WHO, which examined the origins of the virus. According to the report, China provided insufficient data for the team to reach a conclusive determination about the origin of the virus. The report also stated that the possibility of a lab leak was “extremely unlikely.”
However, the report noted that China had not provided all the data that the WHO team requested, and in some cases, only summary data was shared. The report also stated that China refused to share raw data on 174 cases of Covid-19 that occurred in Wuhan in December 2019, before the first official cases were reported.
The WHO Director-General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, expressed disappointment in China’s lack of cooperation, saying “We owe it to the millions who suffered and the millions who died to know what happened.”
The accusations have sparked renewed calls for a more thorough investigation into the origins of the virus. Some scientists have pointed to the possibility of a lab leak, citing evidence of lax safety protocols at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, which has been at the center of the controversy.
The Chinese government has rejected the accusations and criticized the report, calling it “not scientific” and “highly politicized.” Chinese officials have also accused the US of interfering in the investigation and promoting the lab leak theory, without providing any evidence to support their claims.
The controversy surrounding the origin of Covid-19 has been ongoing since the early days of the pandemic. While the virus is believed to have originated in bats, the exact route of transmission to humans remains unclear. Understanding the origins of the virus is crucial to preventing future pandemics and developing effective treatments and vaccines.
The WHO report has called for further investigation into the origins of the virus, including in other countries where the virus may have originated. It remains to be seen whether China will provide more data to support the investigation or if other countries will take up the call for a more thorough inquiry.