China rejects WHOs terms for more study of COVID-19s origins

Updated: July 22nd, 2021 03:40 PM IST

CBS : ترفض الصين شروط منظمة الصحة العالمية لمزيد من الدراسة حول أصول فيروس كورونا

China rejects WHOs terms for more study of COVID-19s origins Photo

Beijing — China cannot accept the World Health Organizations plan for the second phase of a study into the origins of COVID-19, a senior Chinese health official said Thursday.

Zeng Yixin, the vice minister of the National Health Commission, said he was "rather taken aback" by the call for a further look into the pandemics origins and specifically, the theory that the virus might have leaked from a Chinese lab.

The search for the origins of the virus has become a diplomatic issue that has worsened Chinas relations with the U.S. and many of its allies. The U.S. and others say China hasnt been transparent about what happened in the early days of the pandemic. China accuses critics of politicizing an issue that should be left to scientists.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director-general of WHO, acknowledged last week that it was premature to rule out a potential link between the pandemic and a leak from a Chinese government lab in Wuhan, the city where the disease was first detected in late 2019.

Tedros said he hoped for better cooperation and access to data from China, adding that getting access to raw data had been a challenge for the international expert team that traveled to China this year to investigate the cause of the outbreak.

Tedros words were echoed by Germanys health minister, Jens Spahn, who urged Chinese officials to allow the investigation into the origins of the virus to proceed.

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