Bat caves in China need further work to trace virus genetic origin: WHO expert in Wuhan

WION Web Team
Wuhan Published: Feb 05, 2021, 11:36 AM(IST)

Morning News Brief Photograph:( Reuters )

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The origin of the virus has become a global controversy with the former Trump administration accusing China of hiding the virus spread in the initial months even as the Biden administration demanded "robust and clear" investigation.
 

After visiting the Wuhan market which is widely considered the origin of the coronavirus outbreak, a World Health Organization(WHO) member said further work was needed to try to trace genetic elements of the virus in bat caves.

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Peter Daszak, a zoologist and animal disease expert said that work on likely bat source was needed in order to reduce contact with those animals which are the likely reason for the virus.

WHO members had earlier investigated the Huanan seafood market including a wholescale outlet which was closely monitored by the Chinese authorities. Daszak added that it was "very important site visits".

"The real work we are doing here is to trace back from the first cases back to an animal reservoir, and that's a much more convoluted path, and may have happened over a number of months or even years," Daszak said.

Daszak said he "met with key staff at both markets and asked questions to help better understand the factors involved in the emergence of COVID". Daszak added that WHO experts also met with staff in charge of livestock surveillance and had in-depth discussion.

The WHO team also visited the Jinyintan hospital that treated the first confirmed COVID-19 cases in late 2019. The UN health body experts also visited the propaganda exhibition which celebrating China's recovery from the pandemic in Wuhan on Saturday.

The origin of the virus has become a global controversy with the former Trump administration accusing China of hiding the virus spread in the initial months even as the Biden administration demanded "robust and clear" investigation.
 

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