Geneva [Switzerland], July 23 (ANI): The World Health Organisation (WHO) has called for cooperation from countries in finding the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic after China refused to participate in the second probe, saying it is not about "politics and blame game".
Speaking on Friday at a briefing in Geneva, the WHO spokesperson Tarik Jasarevic urged nations not to think of investigations into the origins of the Covid-19 pandemic as political. "This is not about politics, it's not about a blame game," the spokesman said, adding that there was a real requirement for increased collaboration, RT reported.
"It is about basically a requirement we all have to try to understand how the pathogen came into the human population. In this sense, countries really have the responsibility to work together and to work with WHO in a spirit of partnership," he stated.
The WHO earlier this month proposed a second phase of studies into the origins of the coronavirus in China, including audits of laboratories and markets in the city of Wuhan, calling for transparency from authorities.
Beijing reacted to the WHO proposal with Zeng Yixin, vice minister of China's National Health Commission (NHC), telling reporters that the WHO plan "disregards common sense and defies science." Zeng reiterated China's position that some data could not be completely shared due to privacy concerns.
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has 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.
Zeng Yixin, meanwhile 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 and impartial research. (ANI)