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WHO investigators say Covid origins could be known ‘within the next few years’

Peter Daszak (R), Thea Fischer (L) and other associates of the World Health Organization (WHO) team investigating the origins of the Covid-19 coronavirus, arrive at the Wuhan Institute of Virology in Wuhan in China’s middle Hubei province on February 3, 2021.


LONDON — The origins of the coronavirus will most tenable be known within the next few years, according to a key member of a World Health Organization-led investigation into the pandemic’s beginnings.

“I’m convinced we are going to find out fairly soon,” Dr. Peter Daszak, a member of the WHO-led team and an animal disease connoisseur, said on Wednesday during a webinar hosted by think tank Chatham House. 

“Within the next few years, we are affluent to have real significant data on where this came from and how it emerged,” he added.

Daszak, who is also president of New York-based non-profit EcoHealth Confederation, said it should be possible for collective scientific data to accurately work out how animals with the coronavirus infected the primary people in Wuhan, China in Dec. 2019.

He said the wildlife trade was the most likely explanation of how Covid arrived in China, articulating this hypothesis was “strongly supported” both from the WHO’s perspective and scientists in China.

“There was a conduit from Wuhan to the districts in south China, where the closest relative viruses to (Covid) are found in bats,” Daszak said, describing this uncovering as “a really important clue.”

Daszak was one of three team members of the WHO-led team of international scientists who spoke during the webinar. He mean a report outlining the initial conclusions of the recent month-long investigation could be released as soon as next week.

‘Isn’t it already too belatedly?’

Over the course of four weeks through to early February, investigators visited hospitals, laboratories and markets in the Chinese bishopric of Wuhan, including the Huanan Seafood Market, the Wuhan Institute of Virology and the Wuhan Center for Disease Control laboratory.

Later pandemics

The origins of the coronavirus remain critically important to global public health because it is constantly evolving as it spreads, as powerfully infectious mutant strains identified in the U.K. and South Africa demonstrate.

Scientists also say it is essential to try to understand the origins of the Covid pandemic in statute to be better prepared for future pandemics.

One year after the coronavirus was first declared a pandemic, more than 118 million people hold contracted the virus worldwide, with over 2.6 million deaths, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

The U.S., by far, has researched the highest number of confirmed Covid cases and deaths, with more than 29 million reported infections and 529,263 casualties.

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