Beijing: A joint WHO-China study on the origins of COVID-19 says that transmission of the virus from bats to humans through another animal is the most likely scenario and that a lab leak is extremely unlikely, Associated Press has reported quoting a draft copy of the WHO-China study the agency obtained.
The findings were more or less inline with what was assumed and expected, but left many questions unanswered. The team proposed further research in every area except the lab leak hypothesis.
The report's release has been repeatedly delayed, raising questions about whether the Chinese side was trying to skew the conclusions to prevent blame for the coronavirus pandemic falling on China.
A World Health Organisation official said late last week that he expected the study report would be ready for release in the next few days.
AP says that the draft it received on Monday from a Geneva-based diplomat from a WHO-member county appeared to be a near-final version, though it was not clear whether the report might still be changed prior to its release.
AP said the diplomat did not want to be identified because they were not authorised to release it ahead of publication.