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Notícias Internacionais / 16/07/2021


WHO urges China to collaborate with investigations into the origin of Covid-19

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WHO urges China to collaborate with investigations into the origin of Covid-19

Theory that the new coronavirus leaked a laboratory in Wuhan, previously discarded, has apparently come back to being considered by the agency.

The WHO (World Health Organization) demands greater cooperation China with the new stage of investigations into the origin of Covid-19. The agency's director general, Tedros Ghebreyesus, urges Beijing "to be transparent, open and cooperative, especially with regard to information, the raw data we requested in the early days of the pandemic."

In February, WHO ended the first stage of investigations and concluded, in a report published a month later, that it was “extremely unlikely” that Covid-19 had originated in the laboratory. The theory defended by the agency was that the disease had come to humans directly nature, probably through bats.

Now, Ghebreyesus goes against the report itself and admits that it was a “premature impulse” to dismiss the theory that the virus could have escaped a Chinese government laboratory in Wuhan, the city the first cases were identified. “I was also a laboratory technician, I am an immunologist and I worked in the laboratory, and laboratory accidents happen. It's common,” he said.

“Verifying what happened, especially in our laboratories, is important, and we need information, direct information, on how the situation in this laboratory was before and at the beginning of the pandemic”, said Ghebreyesus, according to the Forbes magazine website.

The WHO director demands access to raw data patients at the onset of the pandemic and those immediately before, which the Chinese government did not provide in the first stage of the investigation. He also asks for clear information about the laboratory in Wuhan, in a sign that the leak is not entirely ruled out, according to the British BBC network.

political issue

Among scientists, questions to the WHO for the way it has conducted investigations are not rare. The turbulent relationship between China and the US is one of the arguments, as it would make it difficult for the agency to obtain the proper answers. Critics of the process claim that it is not a question of Health, but of Intelligence.

Germany and the United States are two countries that have returned to the charge for in-depth investigations. President Joe Biden in May ordered a review of US intelligence to assess the possibility that there was a lab leak. Jens Spahn, the German health minister, also called on China “to allow further investigations into the origins of Covid-19,” according to Reuters.

Richard Ebright, a molecular biologist at Rutgers University in the US, called the WHO investigation a "sham" and said determining whether the virus came animals or a laboratory leak has political dimensions beyond the WHO's ability, according to AP.

"We will never find the origins by relying on the World Health Organization," said in early July Lawrence Gostin, director of the WHO Collaborating Center on Public Health Law and Human Rights at Georgetown University. “For a year and a half they've been blocked by China, and it's pretty clear they're not going to get to the bottom of it

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