World Health Organization team did not investigate China's cover-up of COVID-19 data

Covid 'most likely' came from bats and China lab leak theory 'extremely unlikely' WHO report concludes

Delays in the publication of the findings, drafted in collaboration with the team's Chinese counterparts, had been blamed on coordination and translation issues, even as a diplomatic tug-of-war raged in the background over the report's contents.

"In view of the above, a laboratory origin of the pandemic was considered to be extremely unlikely".

"In my discussions with the team, they expressed the difficulties they encountered in accessing raw data", Tedros said.

The repeated delays sparked renewed criticism of the United Nations health agency's slow actions in getting the team to Wuhan in the first place.

Detailed talks between China and the World Health Organization began in July last year, but the team of scientists only arrived in Wuhan, the initial epicentre, in January 2021 - more than a year after the start of the pandemic.

In the 15 months since the coronavirus emerged, the pandemic has engulfed the planet, killing almost 2.8 million people and pummelling the global economy.

It's possible the market was not the original source of the outbreak, but that the crowds that gathered at the market - which was densely packed, with a roof and open sewers - may have amplified the spread of the virus.

People in Britain rushed to pools and parks Monday to enjoy newfound freedoms as the government peeled back restrictions there, allowing small groups to gather, or sports activities to resume.

But the highly-anticipated document offered few firm conclusions.

It offered new details on the World Health Organization team's work, particularly in the Huanan seafood market, responsible for a large cluster of cases and initially thought to be the source of the outbreak.

It also said the introduction of the virus into China through frozen food would have been "extraordinary" in December 2019, given the virus had not been detected elsewhere at that time.

Unvaccinated drinkers could be banned from pubs this summer | London Business News
Under Boris Johnson's roadmap out of lockdown, the earliest date for outdoor restaurants and bars to re-open is April 12. One petition, titled "do not rollout Covid-19 vaccine passports" was debated in parliament on March 15.

Dutch virologist and team member Marion Koopmans rejected the focus on the unanswered questions, stressing on Twitter that the experts had presented a huge amount of information.

But they said they had worked to rank a number of hypotheses according to how likely they were.

Arguments against Though the closest genetic relation to SARS-CoV-2 is a bat virus, analysis indicates "decades of evolutionary space" between them, suggesting an intermediate host route is more likely. The final report determined that this scenario was "possible to likely".

The Covid-19 pandemic origins report looked into four hypotheses as to how the virus entered the human species, ranking them from the most to the least likely.

In a statement delivered to member states during a briefing on the WHO's long-awaited report into the origins of the pandemic, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director general of the World Health Organization, issued a rare rebuke to China.

Dr Anthony Fauci, the top United States infectious diseases expert, said he would like to see the report's raw information first before deciding about its credibility.

The report, which is expected to be made public on Tuesday, is being closely watched since discovering the origins of the virus could help scientists prevent future pandemics, but it's also extremely sensitive since China bristles at any suggestion that it is to blame for the current one.

The report did not rule out the hypothesis, privileged by Beijing, of transmission through frozen food, since the virus appears capable of surviving at freezing temperatures and "introduction via cold/food chain products is considered possible".

Arguments against "There is no conclusive evidence for foodborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and the probability of a cold-chain contamination with the virus from a reservoir is very low", the report said.

China has been trying to deflect criticism of its handling of the pandemic amid growing scrutiny over the pathogen's origins, including speculation promoted by the former Trump administration that the SARS-CoV-2 virus leaked from a Wuhan lab.

Arguments against "There is no record of viruses closely related to SARS-CoV-2 in any laboratory before December 2019, or genomes that in combination could provide a SARS-CoV-2 genome", the report said. Daszak also said it wasn't the WHO's job to determine whether the Chinese government covered up details about the pandemic's origins.

Related News:

Most liked

Mexico says Covid-19 deaths likely 60% higher than official count
Workers on horseback late past year in the Valle de Chalco municipal cemetery on the outskirts of Mexico City. Also suggestive were the overall number of "excess deaths" since the pandemic began, around 417,000.

North Korea threatens U.S. with nation's 'invincible physical power'
The country had last launched a pair of short-range ballistic missiles in March 2020, at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. The tests came as a response to renewed regional military drills between the US and South Korea.

Floyd family, supporters kneel in protest ahead of Minneapolis trial
The 14-member jury is racially mixed: six white women, three Black men, two white men, two mixed-race women and one Black woman. Legal experts have noted that USA police officers have nearly never been found criminally liable for killing a citizen.

CDC director has feeling of ‘impending doom’ amid new spike
The most recent seven-day average is just below 60,000 cases per day - a 10% increase compared with the previous week. Many states are lifting restrictions at levels the CDC wouldn't recommend, Walensky said.

Birx Says Death Toll 'Could Have Been Mitigated'
Throughout the pandemic, Fauci has been eager to give interviews, seeming to revel in the title "America's Doctor" that the media bestowed on him.

World Health Organization says COVID-19 likely emerged from animals; lab leak unlikely
The AP received what appeared to be a near-final version on Monday from a Geneva-based diplomat from a W.H.O. -member country. The researchers listed four scenarios in order of likelihood for the emergence of the virus named SARS-CoV-2.

England resumes outdoor gatherings as Covid lockdown eases
Self-catering lets and camp sites will be allowed to provide self-contained holiday accommodation. On Sunday, the United Kingdom recorded 3,862 new cases, the lowest daily figure in six months.

Two Australian cabinet ministers demoted from top posts after rape allegations
Linda Reynolds would leave the role of defence minister and would be replaced by Peter Dutton, previously home affairs minister. Porter is the subject of a historical rape allegation which he denies and is now on mental health leave.

Australia joins worldwide condemnation of Myanmar military junta's killing of civilians
Irish people living in Myanmar have now been strongly encouraged to leave the country unless they have an urgent reason to stay. Its data shows that around a quarter of them died from shots to the head, raising suspicions they were targeted for killing.

At dozens of rallies, protesters call for end to anti-Asian violence
"We are hard-working people and we deserve to be treated with respect, said Olive Melaya Strohman, who is Filipino-American". However, since March of 2020, 29 anti-Asian hate incidents have been reported in OH to the Stop AAPI Hate reporting tool.

Alberta spent more than $15M on COVID-19-related ad campaigns
About 1,400 of the active cases are linked to the variants of concern, which make up 20 per cent of the total, she added. Across the province, 284 people were being treated in hospital for the disease, including 59 in intensive care beds.

Supreme Court rules Canada's carbon tax is constitutional
Lewis predicted that by 2030, when the carbon tax hits $170 per tonne, it'll cost an extra $12.50 to produce an acre of wheat. Kenney referenced the Peace Order and Good Government Clause , which the federal government used to anchor the carbon tax.

EU Commission can put brakes on vaccine exports
AstraZeneca has declined to comment on the timing, but said Halix is a relatively small part of its vaccine supply chain. An online summit held on Thursday discussed the vaccines, whose delivery has been delayed so far.

Pfizer, BioNTech Launch COVID-19 Vaccine Trial In Children Under 12
The researchers said this emphasised the importance of people having their second dose to provide the same "booster" effect. The government directed everyone above 45 years to take the first jab of the COVID vaccine without hesitation.

Cumulative number of Covid vaccine doses given crosses 5.46 crore: Government
Even social media conglomerate, Facebook working to help the Unites States' government get people vaccinated for the virus. Part of the agreement stipulates Canada is expected to send the United States 1.5 million doses in the coming months in return.