WHO Covid report leaves many stones unturned

WHO Covid report leaves many stones unturned
Security personnel stand guard outside the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Source: AFP/GETTY IMAGES
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Daily US Times: The joint World Health Organization-China report on the origins of Covid-19 comes to four conclusions, and none are definitive. The conclusion are essentially preliminary assessments.

What the 120-page report does make clear is that the WHO’s scientist team was not able to get a clear picture of the crucial weeks and months before early December in 2019, when the first known Covid-19 cases were reported here in Wuhan.

A lack of access to swab samples from adults and blood samples from donors in the city, stands out. As does the lack of access to samples of frozen food from domestic suppliers sold at Huanan wholesale market – the place where a significant cluster of the first cases emerged.

There are other less significant, but still notable, revelations in the report. Some we already knew about. Some we did not.

An increase in the number of flu-like illnesses needs re-examining to see if there are signs of the coronavirus outbreak.

The scientists’ team from the WHO says its inability to examine blood samples from people who gave blood in Wuhan in the years, months and weeks before the Covid outbreak denied the team evidence of “great added value”.

Wuhan Blood Centre officials gave a presentation but no samples were made available.

The WHO report recommends antibody testing on blood donor samples from October, November and December of 2019, with regulatory and ethical “approval”. The report says no conclusion can be made about Covid-19 causing flu-like illnesses in adults in December 2019.

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