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Scientists urge for transparent investigation into origins of COVID

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Scientists urge for transparent investigation into origins of COVID


New York: A team of 18 scientists from Universities in US, Canada, the UK and Switzerland has demanded further investigation to determine the origin of the Covid-19 pandemic which was first documented on December 1, 2019 from Wuhan City in China

A letter published on Thursday in the journal Science.says that "theories of accidental release from a lab and zoonotic spillover both remain viable".

"In this time of unfortunate anti-Asian sentiment in some countries, we note that at the beginning of the pandemic, it was Chinese doctors, scientists, journalists, and citizens who shared with the world crucial information about the spread of the virus -- often at great personal cost. We should show the same determination in promoting a dispassionate science-based discourse on this difficult but important issue," they said.

The team of researchers while lauding the efforts of scientists in understanding SARS-CoV-2 - its transmission, pathogenesis, and mitigation by vaccines, therapeutics, and non-pharmaceutical interventions, wondered why the origin of coronavirus pandemic still remains a mystery.

"Knowing how Covid-19 emerged is critical for informing global strategies to mitigate the risk of future outbreaks," said the researchers led by Jesse Bloom, an evolutionary virologist at the University of Washington, US.

"As scientists with relevant expertise, we agree with the WHO director-general, the United States and 13 other countries, and the European Union that greater clarity about the origins of this pandemic is necessary and feasible to achieve," they said.

The researchers urged for an investigation that is "transparent, objective, data-driven, inclusive of broad expertise, subject to independent oversight, and responsibly managed."

Earlier, In November, a joint report was prepared by China and World Health Organization (WHO) which had investigated about the origins of SARS-CoV-2.

According to the letter, WHO Director-General Tedros Ghebreyesus commented that the report's consideration of evidence supporting a laboratory accident was insufficient.

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