WHO: Wuhan 'not necessarily' zoonotic source of Covid-19

  • China
  • Tuesday, 04 Aug 2020

GENEVA (Xinhua): Although the first clusters of atypical pneumonia were reported in Wuhan, China, it did not necessarily mean that was where the Covid-19 disease crossed from animals into humans, a senior World Health Organization (WHO) expert said on Monday (Aug 3).

Dr Michael Ryan, executive director of the WHO Health Emergencies Programme, said at a routine Coivd-19 briefing on Monday that a more "extensive retrospective epidemiological study" should be taken to fully understand the link between the cases.

He stressed the need to begin studies on the first reported human clusters in order to systematically look for the "first signal at which the animal-human species barrier was crossed," before moving on to studies on the animal side.

The WHO advance team that travelled to China in preparation for an international mission of identifying the zoonotic source of Covid-19 has concluded its mission recently, according to the WHO expert.

Future studies will be built on the initial investigations done by Chinese experts around the Wuhan seafood market.

Ryan also noted that the WHO was moving forward with agreeing on the international team and ensuring that right expertise would be in place to work with the Chinese counterparts to design and implement further studies.

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