Coronavirus is unlikely to come to Wuhan from abroad on frozen foods, said Japanese microbiologist Ken Maeda, a participant in a recent WHO mission in China, quoted on Monday by Kyodo.
/CHRISTMAS CELIS / /AFP
The likelihood that the virus found its way to Wuhan on imported frozen foods “is not high,” said Maeda, who with an international team under the aegis of the World Health Organization (WHO) spent almost a month in Wuhan researching the outbreak of the pandemic.
The Japanese stressed the importance of conducting additional research on the key sites of the first epicenter of the pandemic. He also assessed that the Chinese authorities “had no intention of concealing” the information and provided the team with WHO data in an appropriate manner.
The WHO mission in Wuhan did not provide definitive answers to the question about the origin of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. At the concluding press conference, scientists rated the theory of the pathogen’s escape from the laboratory as “extremely unlikely.”
They considered the most likely hypothesis that people contracted the coronavirus from animals, possibly bats, but indirectly, but through other animals. However, it has not been established what.
The origin of the coronavirus has become a cause of political disputes. The administration of former US President Donald Trump accused China of concealing data and argued that the pathogen could have leaked from a laboratory in Wuhan. However, Beijing argues that the coronavirus does not necessarily come from China.
Another mission member, Australian microbiologist Dominic Dwyer, complained after leaving Wuhan that the Chinese side denied the team access to raw data on the first COVID-19 cases detected. Only the data previously compiled by Chinese researchers were provided to WHO scientists.
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