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WHO Chief Tedros Discussed With Chinese Premier About Collaboration On Covid Origins

WHO Chief Tedros Discussed With Chinese Premier About Collaboration On Covid Origins
The Chief of the World Health Organization Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has discussed the requirement for stronger partnership on the issue of ascertaining the origin of the Covid-19 pandemic with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, Tedros said in a Tweet.  
The issue of the origin of the pandemic has been a topic of a large global controversy that has strained China’s relationship with the West.
On previous occasions, China had been pressed by Tedros to be more open with providing adequate data and information about the origin of the Covid-19 causing coronavirus.
"Pleased to meet with Premier Li Keqiang," Tedros tweeted.
"We discussed Covid-19 and the need for an aggressive effort on VaccinEquity this year to vaccinate 70% of all populations," he said, referring to the WHO campaign for fair access to vaccines around the world.
"We also discussed the need for stronger collaboration on COVID-19 virus origins, rooted in science and evidence," he added.
The Scientific Advisory Group on the Origins of Novel Pathogens (SAGO) had been formed by the WHO sometime last year and had encouraged Beijing to provide the body with adequate raw data on the origin of the virus so that any new investigation could be done properly. The request was however denied by China because of the threat to breach of patient privacy rules.
Allegations primarily from the West about the virus being leaked from a specialist laboratory in the city of Wuhan in China have been consistently denied by Beijing. Wuhan was the spot where the first cases of Covid-19 infections were identified by doctors and scientists back at the end of 2019.
Last year, the WHO published a joint study that it had conducted with China, in which the theory of the Covid-19 having originated from a laboratory leak was ruled out. The report had stated that the most likely possibility of the origin of the virus was humans were infected with the virus via a natural process – most probably through trade in wildlife.
China stated in November last year that a declassified US intelligence study claiming that the epidemic could have started in a lab was unscientific and without credibility.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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