• Tue. Mar 28th, 2023

WHO, advisors urge China to launch all COVID-related knowledge after new analysis


Mar 18, 2023

March 18 (Reuters) – Advisors to the World Well being Group on Saturday urged China to launch all info associated to the origin of the COVID-19 pandemic after new findings had been briefly shared on a world database used to trace pathogens.

New sequences of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in addition to extra genomic knowledge based mostly on samples taken from a dwell animal market in Wuhan, China in 2020 had been briefly uploaded to the GISAID database by Chinese language scientists earlier this 12 months, permitting them to be seen by researchers in different nations, in response to the assertion from the WHO’s Scientific Advisory Group for the Origins of Novel Pathogens (SAGO).

The sequences recommended that raccoon canines had been current available in the market and should have additionally been contaminated by the coronavirus, offering a brand new clue within the chain of transmission that ultimately reached people.

Entry to the knowledge was subsequently restricted “apparently to permit additional knowledge updates” by the Chinese language Middle for Illness Management and Prevention (CDC).

WHO officers mentioned the matter with Chinese language colleagues, who defined that the brand new knowledge had been meant for use to replace a preprint research from 2022. China’s CDC plans to re-submit the paper to the scientific journal Nature for publication, in response to the assertion.

WHO officers say such info, whereas not conclusive, represents a brand new lead into the investigation of COVID’s origins and may have been shared instantly.

“These knowledge don’t present a definitive reply to the query of how the pandemic started, however every bit of information is essential in transferring us nearer to that reply,” WHO Director-Normal Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus mentioned on Friday. “These knowledge may have – and may have – been shared three years in the past.”

“We proceed to name on China to be clear in sharing knowledge, and to conduct the mandatory investigations and share the outcomes,” he mentioned.

SAGO was tasked by the WHO to proceed to analyze the origins of the pandemic that has killed practically 7 million individuals worldwide.

The Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market in Wuhan was shut down by Chinese language authorities after the novel coronavirus emerged within the metropolis in late 2019. The market has since been a spotlight of research of whether or not the virus had contaminated a number of different species earlier than leaping to people.

The WHO and different scientists have additionally mentioned they can’t rule out the likelihood that the virus emerged from a high-security laboratory in Wuhan that research harmful pathogens. China denies any such hyperlink.

The 2022 preprint paper mentioned {that a} small portion of 923 samples collected from the stalls and sewage techniques in and across the market examined constructive for the virus; no virus was detected in 457 animal samples examined. The paper mentioned initially that raccoon canines weren’t among the many animals examined.

The brand new evaluation suggests “that raccoon canine and different animals could have been current earlier than the market was cleaned as a part of the general public well being intervention,” the SAGO assertion mentioned.

Reporting by Sneha Bhowmik in Bengaluru and Jennifer Rigby in London; Writing by Michele Gershberg; Enhancing by Nick Zieminski

Our Requirements: The Thomson Reuters Belief Ideas.

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