WHO says it may be last chance to find origins of #Covid19. Other updates: 💉 Cases drop overall in North America 🇮🇳 India currently has no plans to give booster doses 🇷🇺 Russia: Sputnik Light vaccine 70% effective against Delta variant For more:
The World Health Organization (WHO) has said that its newly formed advisory group on dangerous pathogens may be "our last chance" to determine the origins of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and called for cooperation from China.
The first human cases of Covid-19 were reported in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in December 2019. China has repeatedly dismissed theories that the virus leaked from one of its laboratories and has said no more visits are needed.
A WHO-led team spent four weeks in and around Wuhan earlier this year with Chinese scientists, and said in a joint report in March that the virus had probably been transmitted from bats to humans through another animal but further research was needed.
WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has said that the investigation was hampered by a dearth of raw data pertaining to the first days of the outbreaks spread and has called for lab audits.
They include Marion Koopmans, Thea Fischer, Hung Nguyen and Chinese animal health expert Yang Yungui, who took part in the joint investigation in Wuhan.
The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) has said that Covid-19 cases are dropping overall in North America but remain high in the American Midwest, Alaska, and Canadas Northwest Territories, where infection rates are 10 times the national average.
Infections are also dropping across South America, though cases are up in the greater Caracas area of Venezuela, and in parts of Chiles southernmost regions.
In the Caribbean, Barbados is reporting the highest number of Covid cases and deaths since the pandemic started, with a five-fold increase in Covid infections over the last month, PAHO said.
The regional branch of the World Health Organization called for concerted action in the Americas to help every country reach the WHOs vaccination coverage target of 40 percent of their population by the end of this year.
India currently has no plans to give booster doses as some nations have begun doing, the governments chief Covid-19 advisor said on Wednesday as the country nears the milestone of one billion vaccine injections.