The World Health Organization said on Friday that China took down data related to a research that might have provided more insight into the origins of the Covid-19 virus.

“Last Sunday, WHO was made aware of data published on the GISAID [Global Initiative on Sharing Avian Influenza Data] database in late January, and taken down again recently,” Director-General of the World Health Organization Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said. “The data, from the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, relates to samples taken at the Huanan market in Wuhan, in 2020.”

He added that scientists from a number of countries downloaded the data and analysed it while it was still online.

“As soon as we became aware of this data, we contacted the Chinese CDC [Centre for Disease Control] and urged them to share it with WHO and the international scientific community so it can be analysed,” Ghebreyesus said.

The World Health Organization said that China should have shared the data three years ago when the pandemic had begun in 2020. “Understanding how the pandemic began remains both a moral and scientific imperative,” WHO said.

The global health body also said that Covid-19 could soon transition to a point where it is similar to flu.

“I think we’re coming to that point where we can look at Covid-19 in the same way we look at seasonal influenza, a threat to health, a virus that will continue to kill, but a virus that is not disrupting our society or disrupting our hospital system” WHO said.

Meanwhile, India has reported an increase in the number of Covid-19 cases this week along with other infleunza cases. On Saturday, India recorded more than 800 cases of coronavirus in a single day for the first time after 126 days. The number of active cases of Covid-19 in the country rose to 5,389 on Saturday.

On Thursday, the Centre had asked Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Kerala, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Gujarat – states which have been recording most of the new cases – to ramp up testing, monitor new clusters and send samples of international travellers, reported The Indian Express.