Home World Investigation of ‘Corona Origin’ Rekindling… WHO vs China ‘fight’ fierce

Investigation of ‘Corona Origin’ Rekindling… WHO vs China ‘fight’ fierce

by news dir

Launch of a new WHO advisory group… 26 scientists from around the world
“I hope that the investigation will be conducted with the cooperation of China… this is the last chance”
China “already cooperated… investigate in other countries” counterattack
Wuhan blood sample promotes ‘self-investigation’… Reliability is unclear

Medical staff in protective suits move a COVID-19 patient to an isolation ward at a hospital in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China in February last year. Wuhan = AP News

The fight between the World Health Organization (WHO) and China over the origin of the novel coronavirus infection (COVID-19) is rekindling. The WHO, which set up a new task force, urged China to cooperate with the investigation, saying, “This is the last chance”, and China countered, saying, “Investigate elsewhere.” In particular, China is considering self-investigation of thousands of blood samples taken from Wuhan, which was designated as the first epicenter of COVID-19, with the intention of blocking the possibility of international intervention.

According to Reuters on the 13th (local time), the WHO formed the ‘International Scientific Advisory Group (SAGO) to Investigate the Origin of New Pathogens’, a scientific advisory group to prepare for a new disease with a potential for a pandemic. The top priority is to accurately verify the origin of Corona 19 at the Wuhan Research Center in China. Among the 26 scientists from each country participating in the SAGO, the WHO’s will can also be read in the passage including Mayon Koffmans and Thea Fisher, who participated in the Wuhan field investigation related to COVID-19 in February this year.

Maria van Kerkov, the head of the WHO’s infectious disease department, said, “We hope that further investigations (relating to the origin of COVID-19) will be carried out with the cooperation of China.” Mike Ryan, head of WHO’s emergency response team, said, “The new advisory group is our last chance to discover the origins of the COVID-19 that brought the world to a standstill.” This means that they pressured China to actively cooperate with further investigations.

Earlier this year, the WHO investigative team conducted a four-week field investigation in China earlier this year and concluded that “the virus was transmitted from bats to animals and then to humans, but other areas require further investigation.” At the time, China was criticized for passively responding to the WHO investigation. The actual origin of COVID-19 is still unknown.

However, it is unlikely that China and the WHO will cooperate properly. China’s UN ambassador to the United Nations, Zhen Xu, said on the same day, “On two occasions, China has cooperated with the international investigation team. Now, send an investigation team to another country,” he said. The link between the origin of COVID-19 and China is not worth looking further.

Rather, China is poised to investigate the origin of COVID-19 on its own. The day before, CNN reported that the Chinese government had begun preparing to test thousands of blood samples from Wuhan. An official from China’s health authorities said, “The test will be conducted when the two-year period (the storage period for blood samples) is reached.” Currently, up to 200,000 blood samples obtained between November and December 2019 are stored at the Wuhan City Blood Center. The first reported date of COVID-19 outbreak in Wuhan was December 8, 2019.

However, it is unclear whether the results of China’s investigation will win the trust of the international community. Maureen Miller, a professor of epidemiology at Columbia University in the US, said the blood samples (from Wuhan) could contain key clues as to the origin of the coronavirus, but “no one will believe China’s reports without the participation of qualified foreign experts.”

Kim Jung-woo reporter




Balance to see the world, Hankook Ilbo Copyright © Hankookilbo

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