The United States and the United Kingdom have asked China to commit to the COVID-19 Origin Study once more.
The United States and the United Kingdom are putting pressure on China to join in the second phase of a study that includes a new travel to China, where the first human infections were detected, amid increasing curiosity in the origins of COVID-19.
World authorities are reopening the topic due to growing skepticism about an early assessment by the World Health Organization and China, which presented four explanations for the pandemic’s origins, according to the Associated Press. The researchers found that the virus was most likely transmitted to humans by bats via an intermediary species, and that the virus was “very unlikely” to have been released from a laboratory.
On Thursday, the US diplomatic office in Geneva pronounced the initial study “insufficient and inconclusive.” The mission demanded a “timely, transparent, evidence-based, and expert-led Phase 2 investigation, including in the People’s Republic of China,” according to a statement.
The statement read, “We appreciate the WHO’s stated commitment to moving forward with Phase 2 of the COVID-19 origins investigation and look forward to an update from Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.”
See the list below for more Associated Press reporting.
Independent specialists should have access to “full, original data and samples” related to the virus’s source and early phases of the outbreak, according to the statement, which was issued in the middle of the WHO’s annual session in Geneva.
The first phase research was “always designed to be the beginning of the process, not the end,” according to Simon Manley, the British ambassador in Geneva.
“As recommended by the experts’ report, we ask for a prompt, transparent, evidence-based, and expert-led phase two research, including in the People’s Republic of China,” he said.
A technical team lead by Peter Ben Embarek, who led the WHO team in China that co-authored the first study, is creating “a proposal for the future studies that will need to be carried out,” according to WHO spokesperson Tarik Jasarevic in an e-mail.
That idea would be offered to Tedros “for his consideration,” according to Jasarevic, who added that there was no schedule for such a presentation.
Following the release of the initial report, the WHO director-general noted that more research was needed on topics such as early detection of cases and clusters, as well as the possibility of a pandemic. This is a condensed version of the information.