China rejects WHO plan for study into Covid-19 origin

A person enters the headquarters of the World Well being Group (WHO) on June 15, 2021 in Geneva, Switzerland.

Sean Gallup | Getty Pictures

China rejected on Thursday a World Well being Group (WHO) plan for a second part of an investigation into the origin of the coronavirus, which incorporates the speculation it might have escaped from a Chinese language laboratory, a high well being official mentioned.

The WHO this month proposed a second part of research into the origins of the coronavirus in China, together with audits of laboratories and markets within the metropolis of Wuhan, calling for transparency from authorities.

“We won’t settle for such an origins-tracing plan because it, in some features, disregards frequent sense and defies science,” Zeng Yixin, vice minister of the Nationwide Well being Fee (NHC), instructed reporters.

Zeng mentioned he was greatly surprised when he first learn the WHO plan as a result of it lists the speculation {that a} Chinese language violation of laboratory protocols had triggered the virus to leak throughout analysis.

“We hope the WHO would significantly evaluate the issues and solutions made by Chinese language consultants and really deal with the origin tracing of the Covid-19 virus as a scientific matter, and do away with political interference,” Zeng mentioned.

China opposed politicizing the research, he mentioned.

The origin of the virus stays contested amongst consultants.

The primary identified circumstances emerged within the central Chinese language metropolis of Wuhan in December 2019. The virus was believed to have jumped to people from animals being bought for meals at a metropolis market.

In Might, U.S. President Joe Biden ordered aides to search out solutions to questions over the origin saying that U.S. intelligence companies had been pursuing rival theories probably together with the opportunity of a laboratory accident in China.

Zeng, together with different officers and Chinese language consultants on the information convention, urged the WHO to broaden origin-tracing efforts past China to different international locations.

“We imagine a lab leak is extraordinarily unlikely and it isn’t essential to speculate extra vitality and efforts on this regard,” mentioned Liang Wannian, the Chinese language staff chief on the WHO joint knowledgeable staff.

Nevertheless, Liang mentioned the lab leak speculation couldn’t be fully discounted however prompt that if proof warranted, different international locations might look into the likelihood it leaked from their labs.

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