April 2, 2021 4:49:01 am
India Thursday said the joint study by WHO and China on the origins of the coronavirus underlines the need for more data to be made available to investigators, flagging the “difficulties and delays” referred to by the world body’s Director General during the team’s work.
The joint study, released two days ago, had said that the transmission of the virus from bats to humans, or a lab leak, was unlikely.
The Ministry of External Affairs said: “We have seen the recently released WHO-convened global study on the origin of Covid-19… The report represents an important first step in establishing the origins of the Covid-19 pandemic.”
“It has listed four pathways concerning the emergence of the disease but has stressed the need for next-phase studies across the region. The report also stresses the need for further data and studies to reach robust conclusions.”
India said that it is “pertinent to note that the Director General of the WHO has separately raised the issue of delays and difficulties in accessing raw data for the team conducting the study” and added that “we fully support the Director General’s expectation that future collaborative studies will include more timely and comprehensive data sharing”.
The ministry said that in this connection, “we also welcome his readiness to deploy additional missions”.
“We join other stakeholders in voicing their expectations that follow up to the WHO Report or further studies, including on an understanding of the earliest human cases and clusters by the WHO on this critical issue, will receive the fullest cooperation of all concerned,” it said.
India, it said, shared the need for a comprehensive and expert-led mechanism that would expeditiously investigate the origin of Covid-19 in cooperation with all stakeholders.
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