The World Health Organisation is carrying out investigation and research pertaining to trace the origin of the coronavirus and the COVID-19 disease.
On August 3, Dr. Michael Ryan, Executive Director of the WHO Health Emergencies Program, said that despite the first clusters of atypical pneumonia were reported in Wuhan, China, it doesn’t necessarily mean that is where the COVID-19 disease crossed from animals into humans.
The WHO expert stated that the WHO advance team that travelled to China in preparation for an international mission of identifying the zoonotic source of COVID-19 has recently concluded its mission there. He added that future studies will be built on the initial investigations done by Chinese experts around the Wuhan seafood market.
Dr. Michael Ryan said that in order to understand the complexes related to the pandemic and the links between the cases, it is essential that a much more “extensive retrospective epidemiological study” is undertaken.
He stressed the need to start studies on the first reported human clusters in order to systematically look for the “first signal at which the animal-human species barrier was crossed,” before moving to the studies on the animal side.
Dr. Ryan even stated that the WHO is in process of agreeing on the international team that would work in coordination and cooperation with the Chinese counterparts to design and implement further studies.
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, “As a result of these efforts, WHO and Chinese experts have drafted the Terms of Reference for the studies and program of work for an international team, led by WHO. The international team will include leading scientists and researchers from China and around the world.”