Unlikely that COVID-19 came from a lab in Wuhan: WHO Investigation Team

According to a team of experts from the World Health Organisation (WHO), it is highly unlikely that the COVID-19 vaccine did not originate from a lab in the Chinese city of Wuhan.

Dr. Peter Ben Embarek, the WHO’s food safety and animal disease specialist and chairman of the investigation team, said the initial findings suggest the most likely pathway the virus followed was from a bat to another animal and then to humans, adding that would require further research.

“The findings suggest that the laboratory incidents hypothesis is extremely unlikely to explain the introduction of the virus to the human population,” he said.

Marion Koopmans, a Dutch virologist on the team, said that some animals at the market were susceptible or suspected to be susceptible to the virus, including rabbits and bamboo rats. And some could be traced to farms or traders in regions that are home to the bats that carry the closest related virus to the one that causes COVID-19.

She said the next step would be to look more closely at farms.

Liang Wannian, the head of the Chinese side, said the virus also appeared to have been spreading in other parts of the city than the market, so it remains possible that the virus originated elsewhere.

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