Doha – East
The World Health Organization (WHO) has begun the first steps of an investigation into the origin of the Coronavirus “Covid 19” in China, to answer a question of concern to everyone since the discovery of the epidemic was announced last December.
On Tuesday, the United States of America officially announced its withdrawal from the organization within a year, after US President Donald Trump’s administration criticized the organization and accused it of “focusing on China.”
WHO spokeswoman Margaret Harris said on Friday that a WHO preparatory team had gone to China to conduct an investigation into the origin of the Corona virus, according to Reuters.
She added in a statement at the United Nations headquarters in Geneva that two experts from the organization in animal health and epidemiology will work with Chinese scientists to determine the scope and course of the investigation, adding that this will include negotiations on issues including the formation of the full team of investigation and the skills required.
The virus is believed to have appeared at a wholesale market in central China’s Wuhan late last year, after it jumped barriers between organisms to move from the animal kingdom and infect humans.
“One of the big issues that everyone cares about, and of course that’s why we send an animal health expert, is whether (the virus) passed from other creatures to humans and what species did they transmit from,” Harris said.
“We know that it is very similar to the virus in the bat, but has it passed through intermediate types? This is a question that we all need to answer.”
The World Health Organization announced yesterday the formation of an independent committee to review its dealings with the emerging coronavirus pandemic “Covid 19”, as well as the governments’ response to the epidemic.
The organization’s Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Gebresos, said in an online meeting with representatives of the 194 members of the organization that Helen Clark, former New Zealand Prime Minister, and Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, former Liberia president, agreed to lead the committee and select its members, according to Reuters.
“The scale of this epidemic, which has affected nearly every person in the world, deserves an appropriate evaluation, an impartial evaluation,” Tedros Adhanom Gebrysus added, explaining that the chairpersons of the committee would select their members. After that, the committee will submit an interim report to the annual meeting of health ministers in November and then submit a “substantive report” next year, stressing: “This is not a traditional report that will be signed and then placed on the shelf to collect dust above it. It is something we take very seriously.”
Clarke spoke to Thursday’s meeting and said the mission would be “very difficult”. “We look forward to doing everything we can to respond” to the epidemic’s challenges, Johnson-Sirleaf said.
US President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Michael Pompeo say the virus may have been synthesized in a laboratory in Wuhan but have provided no evidence of this. China vehemently denies this, while US scientists and intelligence services say the virus originated in nature.
The Covid 19 virus has caused the deaths of more than 550,000 people in the world since its appearance in China last December, while the number of infections reached 12 million and 81 thousand and 516 cases are officially registered, according to a toll prepared by Agence France-Presse yesterday, according to official sources at 13:45 pm G.
The United States is the country with the most recorded deaths of Covid-19 with 132 thousand and 309 deaths, followed by Brazil with 67 thousand and 964 deaths, then the United Kingdom with 44,517 deaths, followed by Italy with 34,914 deaths, and Mexico with 32,796 deaths.