WHO sets up COVID-19 origin investigation team after criticism

Aneela SiddiquiWeb Editor

13th Aug, 2021. 03:37 pm

Following criticism from China that the research had been “politicized,” the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Thursday that it has formed a new investigative team to look into the origins of COVID-19.

“Following the publication of the WHO-China joint report of the phase one studies on the origins of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in March 2021, the World Health Organization has outlined the next series of studies … and continues to be in discussions with member states and experts on next steps,” said the WHO.

The World Health Organization, on the other hand, acknowledged that China and other countries had claimed that the March research had been “politicized” or that the WHO had acted because of “political pressure.”

On July 17, WHO chief Tedros Ghebreyesus said he expects China’s support for the next phase of the scientific process to identify the origins of SARS-CoV-2, the virus causing the coronavirus after the first part was criticized.

The United States, which has been actively involved with the WHO since former President Donald Trump announced his intention to quit, has condemned the report, along with other nations, and has called for more probes, which has drawn condemnation from China.

“To move forward, WHO calls for all governments to depoliticize the situation and cooperate to accelerate the studies of the origin, and important to work together to develop a common framework for future emerging pathogens of pandemic potential,” said the WHO.

WHO further stated that the origins of SARS-CoV-2 should not attribute “blame, finger-pointing” and “it is vitally important to know how the COVID-19 pandemic began, to set an example for establishing the origins of all future animal-human spillover events.”

The World Health Organization (WHO) has announced the formation of the International Scientific Advisory Group for Origins of Novel Pathogens, or SAGO, which will advise on a framework for studying the emergence of future emerging pathogens with pandemic potential.


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