WHO is Sending a team to Find out the Origin of Coronavirus in China

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origin of coronavirus
Image- Mark Morgan via Flickr

The World Health Organization (WHO) has announced that it will be sending a team to China to confirm the origin of coronavirus. It is to determine the reason and mode of transmission of the virus which made it spread to the entire world, impacting the global economy.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, DG WHO says that this international team will start its investigations from Wuhan. This is the same place where this pandemic reportedly erupted in December 2019. Tedros says that they have set terms with the Chinese government but has not shared any details on these terms.

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This WHO team will look into the epidemiological details of the pandemic to find out the origin of coronavirus. WHO has confirmed this team and the mission in a recent press conference.  Based on the hypothesis built on the virus and the evidence collected from Wuhan and related areas, the results will be formulated and this report may also provide the reasons for more detailed studies on the virus.

This news is announced after the coronavirus cases in the US have taken a big leap. The United States stands first in the highest number of coronavirus cases with Brazil and India on later positions. It is necessary to know the origin of coronavirus to relate how was it transmitted from animals to the human hosts.

Dr. Michael Ryan is the Emergencies Chief at World Health Organization (WHO). He says that there are gaps in the epidemiological information on the virus and is necessary to collect and evaluate authentic information for reaching a conclusive end. He also said that it would be too early to share what they expect to find.

The most important factor in these coronavirus investigations is to go through the cluster cases that were first reported in Wuhan and systematically look for a point that explains animal to human transmission of coronavirus. There remains a natural barrier between these two species and having this virus come from animals suggests that this barrier is violated. Finding the story on origin may not be much helpful to control the new coronavirus cases as it is now spreading directly from the infected patients. But the mode of transmission has to be determined to avoid any further infection to hit humans later.

The Press Office of the World Health Organization (WHO) has not provided more details especially on the terms set with the Chinese government. There is no information on whether this report will be publicly available or not. WHO hasn’t even mentioned how many members would be there in this team that is being sent to China.

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WHO has indicated that it is in communication with its Chinese counterparts to discuss the agenda of this three-week tour. It is also in touch with various other scientists from Wuhan some of which are from the controversial Wuhan Institute of Virology which was associated with leaking the coronavirus on purpose. Donald Trump, the US President initially claimed that he has proof of this virus is leaked from the Chinese virology lab. However, he didn’t give any details on this claim afterward.

Dr. Deborah Birx, the coronavirus adviser to White House said this Sunday that the virus is spread to almost all parts of the US and the country has entered into a new phase of the pandemic.

Upon asking the details of this ‘new phase’ Ryan confirmed that it is not a never seen before type of virus but a warning to the public that the pandemic is not over yet.

 

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