World Health Organization team investigating the origin of coronavirus in Wuhan, Chinawill postpone the publication of its findings following calls for greater transparency in the probe.
Peter Ben Embarek, a Danish food safety expert who led the WHO team, told reporters that the agency has reviewed a plan to release a summary report on its findings.
“By definition, a summary report does not have all the details,” said Ben Embarek said. “So since there [is] so much interest in this report that a summary would only not satisfy readers’ curiosity. ”
The change comes after the United States expressed “deep concerns“About China possibly holding back data on the initial outburst from investigators. Meanwhile, an international group of researchers on Thursday called for a completely independent study of all hypotheses about the origin of the pandemic, including the possibility that coronavirus leaked from a laboratory in Wuhan.
“Based on our analysis … there is as yet no evidence that this virus is of completely natural origin,” the researchers wrote in a open letter. The group called to investigate whether the pandemic began as a result of a “Lab Acquired Infection (LAI) in one of the laboratories in Wuhan” or “Lab-esce without LAI, for example via waste management or animals that were procured or disposed of wrong. ”
Wuhan is home to two laboratories studying infectious diseases, the Wuhan Institute of Virology and the Wuhan Center for Disease Control. WHO investigators did not gain access to any of these institutions.
While visiting Wuhan in early February, Ben Embarek told a news conference that a laboratory leak was a “extremely unlikely“Hypothesis for the origin of the pandemic. However, after leaving China, he said last week that the possibility of a laboratory accident is “certainly not off the table.”
WHO Chief Dr. Tedro’s Adhanom Ghebreyesus also said in February that “all hypotheses remain open and require further analysis.”