The World Health Organisation (WHO) has said that the newly formed advisory group on dangerous pathogens might be the ‘last chance’ to find the origins of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, while urging China to provide data for the same.
The advisory group will have 26 members of the Scientific Advisory Group on the Origins of Novel Pathogens (SAGO) including, Marion Koopmans, Thea Fischer, Hung Nguyen and Yang Yungui.
China reported the first case of COVID-19 in December 2019 in the city of Wuhan. The country has dismissed claims that the virus leaked from one of its laboratories.
Earlier this year, a team of WHO scientists who spent four weeks in and around Wuhan, said that the virus must have been transmitted from bats to humans, but said further research was required in this regard. Maria Van Kerkhove, a technical leader on COVID-19 of the WHO, said that further studies should be carried out to ascertain how the virus transmitted from animal species to humans.
WHO’s emergency expert Mike Ryan said that the new panel would be the “last chance to establish the origin of SARS-CoV-2”.
China’s ambassador to the UN in Geneva, Chen Yu, said that the conclusions of the joint study are quite clear.
“I do believe that if we are going to continue with the scientific research, I think it should be a joint effort based on science, not by the intelligence agencies,” he said, adding that the whole business is based on the framework of SAGO.