WHO urges China to share data to determine the origins of Covid 19 to ensure transparency subsequent to the disappearance of data published by GISAID. At his most recent media briefing, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of WHO, stated that they were aware of the data published by the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention on the international database in late January this year related to the samples collected from Huanan Market in Central China’s Wuhan city. Scientists across the world downloaded it and evaluated the material, which was later taken down. They have reportedly uncovered molecular evidence that some of the animals sold at the market, like wild raccoon dogs were susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection. Tedros stated that WHO has asked the Chinese CDC to share the data with the UN body and the international scientific community.
Not Conclusive Evidence
Tedros notes that the published data might not provide a conclusive answer to the question of how the pandemic began, but every piece of data is crucial in the process of discovering it.
The data should have been shared with the scientific community three years ago, he added.
The most recent findings provide “a deeper dive” into the information, according to Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO lead on COVID-19, who noted that the organization was already apprehensive about environmental samples gathered from the market that had tested positive. It could offer clues to understanding what had transpired, she said.
What the data entailed
The data published on the public database in late January this year contained genetic evidence that links covid 19 with wild raccoon dogs, strengthening the widespread theory that infected animals sold at the site triggered the viral outbreak. Swabs compiled from Huanan seafood market stalls in the two months following its closure on January 1, 2020, was previously discovered to contain both Covid and human DNA. Chinese researchers, however, claimed that the samples had no animal DNA when the findings were revealed last year.
However, the examination of gene sequences released by the Chinese researchers on the scientific website revealed that several of the Covid positive samples included a high concentration of DNA from raccoon dogs. Traces of DNA from other animals, notably civets, were found in Covid-positive samples.
While the findings cannot provide concrete evidence, the Chinese CDC has met with the wrath of the international scientific community for withholding a crucial piece of data in the ongoing research about the pandemic.
A stop to the emergency
Amidst all the questions and confusion about the source of the global pandemic, the WHO has expressed optimism that it will be able to proclaim an end to the emergency by 2023. The Covid-19 epidemic may calm down this year to the point where it narrows down to a hazard comparable to the flu, it said on Friday.
Last weekend marked three years since the World health agency officially declared the situation a pandemic – though WHO director Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus believes nations should have been alerted several weeks earlier.
According to the WHO director-general, the globe is in a lot better position now than it has been at any point during the pandemic.
He added that he is convinced that we will be able to declare Covid-19 is over as a public health emergency of worldwide significance this year.