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A top World Health Organization (WHO) official has asserted that the World Health body cannot compel China to reveal more data on the origins of COVID-19 noting that it will rather propose studies needed to take understanding of where the virus emerged to the ‘next level’.
Mike Ryan who is the director of the agency’s emergencies programme, when asked by a reporter at a news conference how the WHO will ‘compel’ China to be more open with the information which have appeared sketchy to which he answered; ‘WHO doesn’t have the power to compel anyone in this regard.’
‘We fully expect cooperation, input, and support of all of our member states in that endeavour,’ Ryan said on Monday.
There are competing theories that the virus jumped from animals, possibly starting with bats, to humans, or that it escaped from a laboratory in Wuhan, China.
The Wuhan lab leak theory has recently become the subject of renewed public debate after several prominent scientists called for a full investigation into the origins of the virus.
The hypothesis that the virus was accidentally leaked from the lab was largely disregarded by scientists in the early stages of the coronavirus outbreak. China has repeatedly denied that the lab was responsible for the outbreak.
Africa Today News, New York understands that members of a WHO team that visited China earlier this year hunting for COVID-19’s origins had said they did not have access to all data, driving the continued debate about the country’s transparency.
Former US President Donald Trump and his supporters have consistently given boosts to conspiracy theories that China deliberately leaked the virus.
Then-US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo insisted last year that there was “significant evidence” that the virus came from the lab while releasing no proof and acknowledging that there was no certainty.
Meanwhile, the head of the WHO called for COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers to give the global jab equity scheme COVAX first refusal on new doses, or commit half of their volumes to the WHO-backed initiative.
AFRICA TODAY NEWS, NEW YORK