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China agrees to cooperate with WHO's fresh probe to find COVID origin

China agrees to cooperate with WHOs fresh probe to find COVID origin

Beijing: In a new development, China has agreed to support and participate in the World Health Organisation's (WHO) new probe into tracing the origin of the Covid-19 virus, IANS reported. Until recently, Beijing was reluctant to accept WHO's second probe into the virus origins and accused the organisation of "arrogance" and "a disrespect for common sense".

But Chinese Foreign Ministry demanded WHO to uphold an "objective, scientific" approach stating that it will oppose any political manipulation, IANS reported quoting South China Morning Post (SCMP).

According to SCMP, the Chinese Foreign Ministry welcomed future field missions in the country. The Ministry said that the first report should be the foundation for future work and should be adhered to a global perspective.

The WHO has launched a new task force, Scientific Advisory Group on the Origins of Novel Pathogens (SAGO), of 26 experts from all over the globe for the new probe.

Even nearly two years after the first detection of the virus, its true origin remains veiled under hypotheses like it entered humans from bats via an intermediate animal. An earlier report suggested that the theory that the pathogen escaped from a lab of Wuhan, the city where the virus was first detected, was "very unlikely".

Following that, WHO's Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus proposed a second phase study, ditching the earlier report. WHO decided the inclusion of auditing laboratories and markets in the second phase study, saying that China hampered the first report by lack of data and transparency.

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