CHINA China expresses appreciation for WHO research team


China expresses appreciation for WHO research team

China Daily

13:03, March 31, 2021

Peter Ben Embarek, and other members of the World Health Organisation (WHO) team tasked with investigating the origins of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), arrive at the Pudong International Airport in Shanghai, China February 10, 2021. (File photo: China News Service)

China said on Tuesday it appreciates the diligence and professional spirit of the WHO-China expert team in their origin-tracing work of the coronavirus, and calls for further research in other countries and regions, as it is a global task.

A 120-page report on the origins of COVID-19 released by the World Health Organization on Tuesday concluded COVID-19 introduction through an intermediate host is "likely to very likely," introduction through cold/food chain products is "possible," and introduction through a laboratory incident is "extremely unlikely."

China believes the joint research will play a positive role in promoting global cooperation in COVID-19 origin tracing, a Foreign Ministry spokesperson said in a statement.

China has always been a supporter for global scientific research on the source of the virus and its transmission routes, the spokesperson said.

China co-sponsored the World Health Assembly resolution on COVID-19 and supports WHO-led cooperation on zoonotic source research among member states, and twice invited WHO experts in for study of origins despite continuing domestic prevention and control of the pandemic.

From Jan 14 to Feb 10, Chinese experts and international experts from the WHO and 10 countries formed a joint team and conducted joint research for 28 days in Wuhan.

China offered necessary support for the team's work, fully demonstrating its openness, transparency and responsible attitude, the spokesperson said.

Study of origins is a matter of science, which should be jointly conducted by scientists all over the world, the spokesperson said.

To politicize this issue will only severely hinder global cooperation in study of origins, jeopardize anti-pandemic cooperation and cost more lives, the spokesperson said, adding the move would run counter to the international community's aspiration for solidarity against the virus.

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