WHO head pushes to probe lab-leak COVID origin theory

The World Health Organization chief is calling for investigators into the COVID-19 pandemic’s origins to delve deeper into a theory about a possible lab incident, which they all but ruled out.

“Although the team has concluded that a laboratory leak is the least likely hypothesis, this requires further investigation, potentially with additional missions involving specialist experts, which I am ready to deploy,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus sais in a briefing to WHO member states about the investigators’ long-awaited report after an international mission to Wuhan, China.

Members of the World Health Organization (WHO) team investigating the origins of the COVID-19 coronavirus arrive by car at the Wuhan Institute of Virology in Wuhan in China’s central Hubei province on February 3, 2021. ( HECTOR RETAMAL / AFP)

The WHO chief also voices concern that the international team had difficulty accessing raw data during the mission, adding: “I expect future collaborative studies to include more timely and comprehensive data sharing.”

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