World Health Organisation (WHO) Chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus vowed to push investigation till the origin of the Covid-19 pandemic is uncovered. This statement comes after an article on the Nature website alleged that the organization is faced with a lack of cooperation from China, where the outbreak began in late 2019, and the WHO had given up on the search. The report suggested that the organisation had quietly shelved the second phase of its much-anticipated scientific investigation into the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, the organisation refuted these claims and the WHO Chief instead told reporters “We need to continue to push until we get the answer, knowing how this pandemic started is very, very important and very crucial,” He also claimed to have sent a letter to a top official in China “asking for cooperation because we need cooperation and transparency in the information… in order to know how this started.”
Ghebreyesus believes it imperative to continue searching for the cause in order to prevent further pandemics at such a wide scale. Additionally, Covid 19 resulted in the loss of millions across the globe while afflicting more with various health disorders. “It’s morally very important to know how we lost our loved ones,” added the WHO chief.
How did COVID-19 originate?
The exact cause of COVID-19 is not yet fully understood, but the virus that causes it, known as SARS-CoV-2, is believed to have originated in animals, possibly bats, before being transmitted to humans.
The current leading theory is that the virus may have been transmitted to humans through an intermediate host, such as a pangolin or another animal, that was sold in a wet market in Wuhan, China. However, this theory is still being investigated and is not yet fully confirmed.
There is also ongoing research and investigation into the possibility of a laboratory origin of the virus, which has been the subject of much speculation and debate. However, the majority of scientific evidence suggests that the virus is of natural origin, rather than being intentionally or accidentally created in a laboratory.
What has WHO said previously?
In May 2021, Ghebreyesus made a similar statement, reiterating his commitment to discovering the origins of Covid-19. He had stated that he will not rest until we find the answer to the question of how the virus emerged and spread to become a pandemic.
The World Health Organisation carried out the first phase of the investigation by sending a team of international experts to Wuhan, China, in January 2021 to produce a first-phase report, written in conjunction with their Chinese counterparts.
Dr. Tedros Ashanom Ghebreyesus had called for a second phase of the investigation into the origins of Covid-19, which should include audits of laboratories and markets in Wuhan, China, where the virus was first detected. He had also expressed concern over the lack of access and transparency provided to the WHO investigation team during its initial visit to China and has called for more information to be shared to help solve the puzzle of the pandemic’s origins.
The WHO’s commitment to uncovering the root cause of the pandemic is part of a broader effort to better prepare for and prevent future pandemics, as the world grapples with the ongoing impact of Covid-19 and the emergence of new variants. The WHO continues to push for a thorough and independent investigation into the origins of the pandemic, and to ensure that the findings are shared with the public as soon as they are available. While the investigation into the origins of the virus is ongoing, the WHO and its international partners are also focused on improving global surveillance and response systems, strengthening healthcare infrastructure, and promoting equitable access to vaccines and other essential health resources.