China withheld key data on the origin of COVID-19 from WHO
– United States, other countries issue joint statement of concern
Kaieteur News – China has withheld key data from the World Health Organization (WHO) concerning the origin of the SARS-CoV-2 virus (COVID-19) which first appeared in Wuhan City in late 2019. This was revealed by the Director of WHO -General , Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus last Tuesday, as he addressed member states. He highlighted that a WHO-led team had spent four weeks in and around Wuhan, China and a final report was released to the public.
The final report noted that it was likely that the virus was transmitted from bats to humans through other animals and that a laboratory leak was “very unlikely” as the main cause. The Director-General said that, in his discussions with the team, he had expressed the difficulties they had in accessing raw data from China and that he expected future collaborative studies to include more timely and comprehensive data sharing.
WHO Microbiologist and inspector Dominic Dwyer told Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and The New York Times that the team had requested raw patient data from early cases of infection which he referred to as “standard practice”; however, they only obtained a summary of that data from China.
The raw data requested came from some 174 reported cases of COVID-19 from Wuhan in December 2019.
Meanwhile, the United States of America and 13 other countries including Australia, Canada, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Estonia, Israel, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, the Republic of Korea, Slovenia and the United Kingdom have issued a joint statement in express their concern over the final World Health Organization report. “Together, we support transparent and independent analysis and evaluation, free from undue interference and influence, of the origin of the COVID-19 pandemic. In this regard, we join in expressing shared concerns about the recent WHO study convened in China, while at the same time reinforcing the importance of collaboration towards the development and deployment of a fast, effective, transparent approach based on science and independently. process for future international evaluations of such cases of unknown origin, ”the statement noted.
Furthermore, he said the World Health Organization’s mission to promote global health and health safety is an important mandate so it is equally vital that they voice their shared concerns that the international expert study on the origin of the SARS-CoV virus -2 significantly delayed and without access to complete, original data and samples.
They lamented that they shared their concerns not only for the benefit of learning all that can be learned about the origins of the current pandemic, but also to set a path to a “timely, transparent, evidence-based” process for the next stage of the this study as well as for a possible next health emergency.
They noted the findings and recommendations but said that going forward, the WHO and each Member State must make a renewed commitment to access, transparency and timeliness.
“It is essential that independent experts have full access to all relevant human, animal and environmental data, research and personnel relating to the early stages of the case that are relevant to determining how this pandemic came about clearly, ”the statement outlined.
They have underlined the need for a robust, comprehensive expert-led mechanism to quickly investigate cases of unknown origin.