Global Economy

WHO report on Wuhan virus mission expected soon

One of the leaders of the recent World Health Organization-led mission to China to investigate the origins of the coronavirus expects finding out “fairly soon, within the next few years” what started the pandemic.

In a press briefing, Peter Daszak estimated collective scientific research could pin down how animals carrying COVID-19 might have infected the first people in Wuhan.

“There was a conduit from Wuhan to the provinces where in South China, where the closest relative viruses to (the coronavirus) are found in bats,” says Daszak, the president of EcoHealth Alliance. He says the wildlife trade seemed to be the most likely explanation of COVID-19 arriving in Wuhan, where the first human cases were detected last December.

That hypothesis, Daszak says, was “the one that’s most strongly supported both on the WHO (and) the China side.”

Daszak and his co-authors are set to release a report, as early as next week, on the initial conclusions of their recent mission to Wuhan. They concluded it was “extremely unlikely” the pandemic was the result of a laboratory accident.


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