'Extremely unlikely' Covid-19 escaped from Wuhan lab: WHO mission member

Sydney, Feb 23 (IANS): It is "extremely unlikely" that SARS-CoV-2, which causes Covid-19, escaped from a lab in the Chinese city of Wuhan, a member of a World Health Organization (WHO) expert team sent to China on a Covid-19 origin-tracing mission said.

"The most politically sensitive option we looked at was the virus escaping from a laboratory," said Professor Dominic Dwyer from University of Sydney in an article on The Conversation, a publisher of research-based news and analysis. "We concluded this was extremely unlikely", he said, Xinhua news agency reported.

The Wuhan Institute of Virology "is an impressive research facility, and looks to be run well, with due regard to staff health," said Dwyer. The professor said he has learned that blood samples of the scientists are routinely taken and stored, and "no evidence of antibodies to the coronavirus was found".

A clinical epidemiology group inside the team, according to Dwyer, looked at a large number of relative data and information, and "found no clear evidence of substantial circulation of Covid-19 in Wuhan during the latter part of 2019 before the first case".

"We talked to our Chinese counterparts -- scientists, epidemiologists, doctors -- over the four weeks the WHO mission was in China. We were in meetings with them for up to 15 hours a day, so we became colleagues, even friends," Dwyer said. "This allowed us to build respect and trust in a way you couldn't necessarily do via Zoom or email," he noted.

The Australian expert said the virus was most likely of animal origin but not necessarily at a wet market in Wuhan. "It probably crossed over to humans from bats, via an as-yet-unknown intermediary animal at an unknown location," he said, adding that the experts "are still working to confirm the exact chain of events that led to the current pandemic."

Dwyer said the WHO mission was only phase one of the investigation. "Investigators will also look further afield for data, to investigate evidence the virus was circulating in Europe, for instance, earlier in 2019," he noted.

"Investigators will continue to test wildlife and other animals in the region for signs of the virus," he said. "And we'll continue to learn from our experiences to improve how we investigate the next pandemic."



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Comment on this article

  • Arthur, Mangalore

    Wed, Feb 24 2021

    Professor Dwyer claimed the Chinese government refused to handover the raw data. The Chinese government would only give summaries of data. Why has the Chinese government refused to handover the raw data?

    DisAgree Agree [3] Reply Report Abuse


    Wed, Feb 24 2021

    I understand they do not allow anyone including their own people to attempt to find patient zero and the entire WHO team did nothing but talk to Chinese approved researchers, A investigation that was totally pointless from the word go.

    DisAgree Agree [2] Report Abuse

  • Alphy, Mumbai

    Tue, Feb 23 2021

    WHO is a puppet in the hands of Chinese. Chinese plan in advance and they are not easy to beat. They infiltrated WHO several years earlier and influenced Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus by buying him off long before Wuhan virus was released. A chinese Virologist Dr Li, who worked in Wuhan and currently in NY after escaping from Chinia, has cleared commented on virus release from the Lab. As Mr Veer, Nagpur commented, none of the employees worked in releasing this virus have come out alive as they have been eliminated by Chinese regime. WHO cannot be trusted today and Mr Trump was right to take US membership from WHO. WHO needs to be dismantled if the world wants a safer place to live,

    DisAgree [1] Agree [3] Reply Report Abuse

  • John, Mangalore

    Tue, Feb 23 2021

    Jesus on Chinese, (left leaning) American researchers, elites and corona virus in a message to John Leary dated Thursday, January 28, 2021: (St. Thomas Aquinas)... Jesus said: “My people, the Chinese researchers were working with American researchers to make the Covid-19 corona virus that has spread to all parts of the world. These viruses were purposely made so many people would die. Bill Gates has said that with viruses and vaccines he could reduce the world’s population by 15%. This plan for killing man is being led by the devil because he hates man. These one world people worship Satan, and they are carrying out his orders to reduce the population with viruses, vaccines, and abortion. Pray for My protection as I will lead My believers to My safe havens where you will be healed.” Jesus said: “My people, in the early treatment of covid-19 patients, many were healed using hydroxychoroquine at the right dose level. People were dying because their immune systems overreacted to the virus and this was killing some people. Treatments of hydroxychloroquine relaxed the immune system along with Zinc and an antibiotic which healed the patients. This treatment was even held back from patients because the one world people wanted people to be scared into taking vaccines which would later kill them. So refuse to take these nano virus vaccines because they are more deadly than the virus.”... Ref: www.johnleary.com/index.php/?cat=3&order=DESC

    DisAgree [2] Agree [1] Reply Report Abuse

  • Manohar, Udupi

    Tue, Feb 23 2021

    I am not surprised if WHO will blame India as China did. China is acting like Indian government for its failures.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [4] Reply Report Abuse

  • Ramesh Babu, Mangalore

    Tue, Feb 23 2021

    China and BJP are sailing in same boat.

    DisAgree [5] Agree [9] Reply Report Abuse

  • Veer, Nagpur

    Tue, Feb 23 2021

    Did these corrupt WHO officials talked to the team who invented this virus. Because the original inventors are all dead due to this virus. No witness, No evidence, No case learnt from Kathua, Unnao and Hathras rape, murder and burn the witness cases. Did they question where are the inventors of this virus????????.........Its like WHO officials are taken on a free pleasure tour of Kashmir all expenses paid by tax payers to selected well maintained peaceful spots.

    DisAgree [3] Agree [2] Reply Report Abuse

  • Jossey Saldanha, Mumbai

    Tue, Feb 23 2021

    WHO Mission Member could have been Bribed ...

    DisAgree Agree [10] Reply Report Abuse

  • Kishore Kumar, Mangaluru

    Tue, Feb 23 2021

    ... Chinks have already destroyed the Chinese Origin Very Infectious Disease (COVID) trace 🦠

    DisAgree Agree [11] Reply Report Abuse

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