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Friday, December 03, 2021

India supports calls for detailed studies on origins of coronavirus

This Covid-19 follow up by the WHO, MEA said, deserves the understanding and cooperation of all.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: May 28, 2021 4:22:53 pm
Questions remain over the origins of the deadly virus.

A day after the United States asked asked American intelligence agencies to find out how Covid-19 emerged in China, India on Friday supported renewed global calls for a comprehensive investigation by the WHO into the origins of the coronavirus.

There were growing demands by various countries to investigate whether the virus originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan from an animal source or from a laboratory.

In March, the World Health Organisation (WHO) came out with a report on the origins of the virus but it had failed to meet the expectations of the US and several other leading countries.

External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said the follow up of the WHO report and further studies deserve the understanding and cooperation of all.

“The WHO convened global study on the origin of COVID-19 is an important first step. It stressed the need for next phase studies as also for further data and studies to reach robust conclusions,” he said.

Bagchi was responding to media queries on the issue.

“The follow up of the WHO report and further studies deserve the understanding and cooperation of all,” he said.

The WHO sent a team of international researchers to Wuhan, where the virus originated, in January 2021 for the first time. The team spent four weeks in and around the city with Chinese researchers who said in a report in March that the virus had probably been transmitted from bats to humans through another animal, and that “introduction through a laboratory incident was considered to be an extremely unlikely pathway.”

Scientists are now revisiting the “mystery” into the origins of the deadly virus. The two current theories are – it originated from animals, possibly from bats, to humans, while the second one says it escaped from a virology laboratory in Wuhan, China.

The initial WHO study was “insufficient and inconclusive,” the US mission to the UN in Geneva said in a statement on Thursday, calling for what it called a timely, transparent and evidence-based second probe to be conducted, including in China.

A second attempt into the investigation therefore aims for independent experts getting full access to original data and samples in China.

(With PTI inputs)

 

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