Beijing [China] July 22 (ANI): China has declined the World Health Organisation's proposal to participate in the second phase investigation of the COVID-19 origin study, a top Chinese official informed on Thursday.
The announcement was made after the possibility of the virus leaking from a Wuhan lab was included in the proposal, Beijing has been surprised to see lab leak listed as a research objective under the second phase of the investigation, CNN reported citing Zeng Yixin, Chinese Deputy Head of the National Health Commission.
"In some aspects, the WHO's plan for next phase of investigation of the coronavirus origin doesn't respect common sense, and it's against science. It's impossible for us to accept such a plan," Yixin said.
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus also urged Beijing to be transparent and open to cooperate. "We owe it to the millions who suffered and the millions who died to know what happened," he said.
Responding to the US claims, Zeng Yixin also said that "no worker or researcher at the Wuhan Institute of Virology got infected by coronavirus before the first documented cases of Covid-19.
US officials overseeing an intelligence review into the origins of COVID-19 consider the theory of virus accidentally escaping from a lab in Wuhan as equally plausible as the possibility that it emerged naturally in the wild.
In recent months, the lab-leak theory has gained great traction pushing US President Joe Biden to give the American intelligence team a 90-day deadline to find answers into the virus origin.
A WHO-led team of scientists that travelled to China in early 2021 to investigate the origins of the virus struggled to get a clear picture of what research China was conducting beforehand, faced constraints during its visit, and had little power to conduct thorough, impartial research. (ANI)