WHO : Covid19 unlikely to have leaked from a laboratory
WUHAN, China – The coronavirus most likely first appeared in humans after jumping from an animal, a team of international and Chinese scientists looking for the origins of COVID-19 said Tuesday, dismissing as unlikely an alternate theory that the virus leaked from a Chinese lab.
he Wuhan Institute of Virology has collected extensive virus samples, leading to unproven allegations that it may have caused the original outbreak by leaking the virus into the surrounding community. China has strongly denied that possibility and has promoted unproven theories that the virus may have originated elsewhere.
The WHO mission began in January, following months of negotiations with Beijing. The experts’ visit was closely-monitored by the Chinese authorities.The laboratory theory consisted of – The office of the US national intelligence director said at the time that while the virus was not man-made or genetically modified, officials were investigating whether the outbreak began through contact with animals or through a laboratory accident.
The visit by the WHO team took months to negotiate. China only agreed to it amid international pressure at the WHO’s World Health Assembly meeting last May, and Beijing has continued to resist calls for a strictly independent investigation.