COVID-19 origin: UN urges China to cooperate with WHO's probetext_fields
The United Nations requested all member states to fully cooperate with WHO (World Health Organisation) after Beijing rejected the organisation's further investigation into the origins of the Covid-19 virus, reports ANI. On Friday, the UN spokesperson Farhan Haq said in a press briefing that the organisation implore all member states, including China, to cooperate with WHO.
Earlier in July, WHO had proposed the second phase of studies into the origins of the pandemic virus in China. The fresh studies include audits of laboratories and markets in Wuhan, and WHO requested transparency from authorities.
But Beijing, on Thursday, turned down the proposal, and China's National Health Commission (NHC) claimed that the second phase of the investigation is "insulting". The NHC said that the researchers should investigate the possibility of the virus' origin in animals. It suggested researchers expand their studies to other countries globally.
China's vice minister, Zen Yixin, of NHC, had said at a news conference that he was surprised that the WHO has proposed the second phase and wish to probe the 'lab leak' hypothesis while calling the move unscientific.
Yuan Zhimming, Wuhan national Biosafety Laboratory, had said in the briefing that the bio-protection systems in Wuhan labs were stable, reliable and in line with international standards. Despite reports that three researchers had fallen sick with corona symptoms before the first cases of the pandemic were reported in Wuhan, he said that the coronavirus was naturally generated.
Liang Wannian, who leads Chinese scientists in the WHO team, claimed that the first cases detected need not be where the virus originated. He named countries and cities where the virus traces had allegedly been found while first positive cases were reported in Wuhan.
Minister Zeng, of NHC, further said that China expects WHO to review the suggestions and considerations made by Chinese experts, treat the virus's origin as a scientific matter and root out political interference.
WHO had led a team of scientists to China in early 2021 to probe the origins of the virus. The team faced constraints during their investigation, and they had little power to conduct thorough and impartial research. They struggled to get a clear picture of the study China was conducting before the pandemic emerged.