A joint study by the World Health Organization and China on the origins of the coronavirus said that the infection was most likely transmitted from bats to humans through another animal, AP reported on Tuesday, citing a draft copy of the research.
The study said the leak of the virus from laboratories in Chinese city of Wuhan was “extremely unlikely”. Researchers said that the labs had high safety levels, and there were no reports of respiratory illnesses among staff members, Reuters reported.
“There is no record of viruses closely related to SARS-CoV-2 in any laboratory before December 2019, or genomes that in combination could provide a SARS-CoV-2 genome,” the report added, according to CNN.
The full report is expected to be published at 1400 Greenwich Mean Time on Tuesday (7.30 pm Indian Standard Time), according to Reuters.
The report indicated that frozen food was not a likely source of the infection, according to CNN. There is also no clarity about the role that the seafood market in Wuhan had in the spread of the infection.
The study is based on the visit of a team of international experts to China in January. They spent about one month in the country – two weeks in quarantine and the same on fieldwork.
‘Would first like to see the report’s raw information’: Anthony Fauci
Top United States infectious diseases expert Dr Anthony Fauci said that he would like to look at raw information used for the report before deciding on its credibility, AP reported.
“I’d also would like to inquire as to the extent in which the people who were on that group had access directly to the data that they would need to make a determination,” he said. “I want to read the report first and then get a feel for what they really had access to, or did not have access to.”
Meanwhile, amid the surge in coronavirus cases in the US, President Joe Biden urged people not to stop taking precautions. “I’m reiterating my call for every governor, mayor and local leader to maintain and reinstate the mask mandate,” he was quoted as saying by Reuters. “We still are in a war with this deadly virus. And we’re bolstering our defenses, but this war’s far from won.”
Biden added that 90% adults would be eligible for inoculation by April 19.
Rochelle Walensky, chief of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said: “I’m going to lose the script and I’m going to reflect on the recurring feeling I have of impending doom. Right now I’m scared.”