The taskforce investigating the source of the Covid outbreak within the ground zero city of Wuhan claim a leak from a laboratory was ‘extremely unlikely.’
The World Health Organisation study on the origins of coronavirus now says the virus was probably transmitted from bats to humans through another animal, Reuters reports.
The full report isn’t expected to be published until a minimum of Tuesday but leaked findings say that three labs in Wuhan working with coronaviruses were ‘well-managed.’
It is further reported that the facilities had ‘high-quality biosafety levels’, and there had been no reports of comparable illnesses among staff during the months before the pandemic hit.
Employees had also not tested positive for Covid in subsequent blood screening for antibodies, the report said.
“In view of the above, a laboratory origin of the pandemic was considered to be extremely unlikely,” it said.
Many questions remain unanswered about the virus that sparked the pandemic and therefore the team has now proposed further research in bats and pangolins in China also as in Southeast Asia .
Surveys of other wild animals – including civets, mink and ferrets – known to be infected by the virus were also recommended.
Many early human cases were related to the Huanan seafood market in Wuhan, which also sold wildlife, “but an identical number of cases were related to other markets and a few weren’t related to any market”, the report said.
WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreysus acknowledged receipt of the report but declined to offer details, telling a Geneva news briefing: “All hypotheses are on the table and warrant complete and further studies.”
The us expects the WHO-led investigation to need further study of the virus, perhaps including a return visit to China, a senior US official told reporters last week.
The probe had previously been suffering from delays with concerns over access and bickering between Beijing and therefore the US.