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China slams US for accusing Beijing of interfering in WHO's COVID-19 probe

China slams US for accusing Beijing of interfering in WHO's COVID-19 probe

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Washington [US], February 14 (ANI): China has reacted sharply to United States' allegations of Beijing interfering in the World Health Organisation's (WHO) probe into the origins of the coronavirus and accused Washington of "severely undermining" the world health body.
The Chinese embassy in Washington has said the United States suspended funding and withdrew from the World Health Organization last year only to rejoin under the new administration, South China Morning Post reported.
"But the US, acting as if none of this had ever happened, is pointing fingers at other countries which have been faithfully supporting the WHO and at the WHO itself," the embassy said.
"It is hoped that the US will hold itself to the highest standards, take a serious, earnest, transparent and responsible attitude, shoulder its rightful responsibility, support the WHO's work with real actions and make due contribution to the international cooperation on Covid-19," it added
The US on Saturday raised concerns over the possibility of the Chinese government's interference in the WHO's recent investigation into the origins of COVID-19 in Wuhan.
"We have deep concerns about the way in which the early findings of the COVID-19 investigation were communicated and questions about the process used to reach them," said Jake Sullivan, US National Security Adviser.
He stressed the importance of an investigation that is "free from intervention or alteration by the Chinese government" into the origin of COVID-19.
"To better understand this pandemic and prepare for the next one, China must make available its data from the earliest days of the outbreak," he added.
The WHO team, which arrived in China in January and spent four weeks looking into the origins of the COVID-19 outbreak, on Tuesday said that there is no evidence of coronavirus circulation in any animal species in China.
During a press conference, Peter Ben Embarek, the head of the WHO mission in Wuhan, stated four hypotheses on how the virus spread but reiterated that "laboratory incident hypothesis is extremely unlikely to explain the introduction of the virus into the human population".
"It has not been possible to pinpoint any animal species as a potential reservoir for this disease, and they indicate that currently and also back in 2019 it does not look like there was the circulation of the virus in any animal species in the country," he said.
He further said that "four main hypotheses or groups of hypotheses" have been identified on how the COVID-19 virus might have been introduced among the humans."
Our initial findings suggest that introduction through an intermediary host species is the most likely way and one that will require more studies and more specific targeted research ... The findings suggest that a laboratory incident hypothesis is extremely unlikely to explain the introduction of the virus into the human population," the WHO expert said.
Speaking on the possible leakage of the virus from Wuhan's institute of virology, Embarek said, "We also looked at Wuhan's institute of virology ... the laboratory and the state of the laboratory, and it was very unlikely that anything could escape from such a place. We also know that lab incidents are, of course, extremely rare." (ANI)

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.


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