The United States and other countries call for a more in-depth investigation of the pandemic origins, after an international mission to China earlier this year proved inconclusive.
Addressing the World Health Organization’s main annual meeting of member states, representatives from several countries stress the continued need to solve the mystery of how Covid-19 first began spreading among humans.
“We underscore the importance of a robust comprehensive and expert-led inquiry into the origins of Covid-19,” US representative Jeremy Konyndyk tells the World Health Assembly.
Australia, Japan and Portugal were among other countries to call for more progress on the investigation, while the British representative urged for any probe to be “timely, expert-driven and grounded in robust science.”
Determining how the virus that causes Covid-19 began spreading is seen as vital to preventing future outbreaks.
But a long-delayed report by the team of international experts sent to Wuhan and their Chinese counterparts drew no firm conclusions on the origins of the pandemic.
Instead, they ranked a number of hypotheses according to how likely they believed they were.
The report said the virus jumping from bats to humans via an intermediate animal was the most probable scenario, while it said a theory involving the virus leaking from a laboratory was “extremely unlikely.”
After the report was released, however, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus insisted all theories remained on the table.