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More transparency needed in investigating coronavirus origins: WHO Director-General Tedros China
Image: UN website

More transparency needed in investigating coronavirus origins: WHO Director-General Tedros

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 14 Jun 2021, 07:12 pm

London/UNI: Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has called on China to cooperate on the ongoing investigation into the origins of the novel coronavirus.

"As you know we will need cooperation from the Chinese side," Dr. Tedros said on Saturday, as quoted by The Wall Street Journal, after G7 summit talks. "We need transparency to understand or know or find the origin of this virus… after the report was released there were difficulties in the data sharing, especially in the raw data," he added.

According to the director-general of the WHO, G7 leaders discussed the causes of the pandemic on Saturday and preparations are underway for the next phase of the investigation into the origins of COVID-19. More cooperation and transparency is expected from China, Dr. Tedros said.

Conservative advocacy group Judicial Watch said on Thursday that there were two lawsuits, one against the US State Department and the other against the Director of National Intelligence, seeking to uncover US information on the Wuhan Institute of Virology and the origins of the coronavirus. Last week, an earlier Judicial Watch lawsuit uncovered Department of Health and Human Services records showing the US government gave $826,277 to the Wuhan institute from 2014 to 2019 for research on coronaviruses endemic in bats.

Judicial Watch said it filed the latest lawsuits because it does not trust the administration of US President Joe Biden to voluntarily disclose possible connections between the novel coronavirus and the Wuhan facility.

Biden recently ordered the US intelligence community to produce a report re-examining the origins of the novel coronavirus and to help determine whether the disease leaked from a lab or spread from an infected animal to a human.

China continues to call the laboratory-leak theory a conspiracy.

In January, international experts traveled to Wuhan where they examined a laboratory, hospitals and markets for clues on the origins of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. The expert mission of the World Health Organization (WHO) then compiled a report, saying that a leak of the new coronavirus from a laboratory in Wuhan was very unlikely. The report, released in March, said that the new virus was most likely transmitted to humans from bats through an intermediary host. After the publication, Dr. Tedros said that China had withheld data from international experts during their visit to Wuhan.