The World Health Organization asked to carry out controls of the laboratories where the first cases of COVID-19 were identified in China, as part of the next phase of the investigation into the origin of the pandemic.
In a closed-door meeting with the representatives of the member states of the UN agency, the head of the WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, stated that a priority should be to carry out “controls of the laboratories or research establishments active in the region. where the first cases were identified in December 2019 “.
In January, the WHO sent a mission of experts to China that failed to clarify the origin of the coronavirus, which has already caused more than 4 million deaths in the world.
The Geneva-based international organization has been facing mounting pressure for months to carry out a deeper investigation into how COVID-19 emerged.
“We hope that China will support this new phase of the scientific process by sharing all relevant data in a spirit of transparency. We also expect all Member States to support the scientific process by refraining from politicizing it,” said Dr. Tedros.
In addition to the Chinese laboratory controls, WHO wants to conduct “integrated studies covering humans, wild animals, captive and farmed animals, and the environment”, and studies that “give priority to areas geographical areas where the circulation of SARS-CoV-2 was initially indicated and to border areas where a strong prevalence of the SARS-related coronavirus (SARSr-CoV) was found in non-human reservoirs “.
The UN agency also calls for “studies related to animal markets in and around Wuhan, including follow-up studies on animals sold in Huanan wholesale markets,” where the first outbreak of the epidemic was detected.
He also requested “studies related to activities aimed at tracing the history of animals, accompanied by additional work in epidemiology and molecular epidemiology, including the first sequences of the virus.”