WHO says ‘extremely unlikely’ Covid-19 leaked from lab in China

WHO says 'extremely unlikely' Covid-19 leaked from lab in China
Peter Ben Embarek, of the World Health Organization team holds up a chart showing pathways of transmission of the virus. Source: AP
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Daily US Times: International experts investigating the origins of coronavirus pandemic have all but dismissed a theory that the virus came from a laboratory in China saying it ‘extremely unlikely’.

Peter Ben Embarek, the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) mission, said it was “extremely unlikely” that the virus leaked from a lab in Wuhan.

He said more work was needed to identify the source of Covid-19

As the experts said it is ‘extremely unlikely’ to leak the virus from Wuhan lab, one expert said the investigation could now focus on South East Asia.

The WHO expert team are currently at the end of their investigation mission.

Wuhan is the first place in the world that the virus was detected in 2019. Since then, more than 106 million cases and 2.3 million deaths have been reported worldwide.

Dr Embarek told a press conference that the investigation had uncovered new information but had not dramatically changed the picture of the coronavirus outbreak.

Experts believe the virus is likely to have originated in animals before spreading to humans, but they aren’t sure how.

Dr Embarek said work to find out the origins of Covid-19 pointed to a “natural reservoir” in bats, but it was unlikely that this happened in Wuhan.

He said identifying the animal pathway remained a “work in progress”, but that the virus was “most likely” to have crossed over to humans from an intermediary species.

The experts also said there was “no indication” that Covid-19 was circulating in Wuhan before the first official cases were recorded there in December 2019.

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