WHO China Report: ‘Lab Leak Unlikely Source Of Covid’

New Delhi: In a near final-version of the joint WHO-China study suggests that the origins of COVID-19 is likely from the transmission of the virus from bats to humans through another animal. This study has also dismissed “lab leak” as a possiblity. 

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Out of the four likely scenarios listed, transmission through a second animal tops the list. According to the AP report, while the researchers have said that direct spread from bats to humans is a likely. Bats are known to coronaviruses and one of its relative which caused the COVID-19 was found in the mammals.

The AP report, further quoted the study saying “the evolutionary distance between these bat viruses and SARS-CoV-2 is estimated to be several decades, suggesting a missing link.”

Along with Pangolins, cats and minks can also carry the virus. 

Between mid-January to mid-February a team of international experts from WHO visited Wuhan, the city where COVID-19 was first detected. The study is largely based the the findings from this city.

While it is likely that the final report may have some changes. According to AP, Peter Ben Embarek who led the study said Friday that the report was being fact checked and translated. He was quoted as saying “I expect that in the next few days, that whole process will be completed and we will be able to release it publicly.”

AP quoted the report, “No firm conclusion therefore about the role of the Huanan market in the origin of the outbreak, or how the infection was introduced into the market, can currently be drawn.”

The researchers are skeptical that the virus was spread through “cold chains” while food products that were imported to China found the Covid-19 virus is highly unlikely that the spread was due to this. “While there is some evidence for possible reintroduction of SARS-CoV-2 through handling of imported contaminated frozen products in China since the initial pandemic wave, this would be extraordinary in 2019 where the virus was not widely circulating,” the study said. It is more likely that the spread was from human-to-human respiratory infection. 


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