Next week, the World Health Organization (WHO) plans to release a full report on the trip to Wuhan to learn about the origins of Covid-19.
The statement comes as a growing number of experts question the organization’s right to access data in the country where the disease started. Previously, WHO planned to publish a preliminary summary as soon as the trip ended on 9/2, but then changed its plans. Emergency medical program director Mike Ryan said experts postpone reports to gather information and publish it at the same time.
“Realizing the interest and demand for large information in the field, we think it is important to make big and understandable data,” he said.
Several international researchers who visited Wuhan in January said they did not have access to all the databases they wanted to consider during the visit. The US and UK have called on Chinese officials to share information transparently, while another group of scholars thinks a new investigation is needed.
The White House welcomes the decision not to publish the summary before the full report becomes available. “This is a positive step, thanks in part to our intervention and influence,” said spokesman Jen Psaki.
WHO experts say nCoV “most likely” came from bats, infecting people through an intermediate host – a view favored by most scientists. The possibility of the virus originating in the laboratory is “highly unlikely”, the team said. During the pandemic, many people spread conspiracy theories that the pathogen leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology. WHO Director Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said this possibility remains open.
China affirmed that the WHO mission is carried out in a transparent way, the researchers from both sides work together, have a frank exchange, come to conclusions expressing consensus and objectivity.
Earlier, a group of scientists jointly signed an open letter about nCoV leaks from the lab. The two experts said they did not promote any conspiracy theories, but instead wanted to openly evaluate the possibilities, including whether the virus originated in nature or was the result of a research incident.
Thuc Linh (Follow SCMP)