Last Updated: March 18, 2023, 02:04 IST
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus noted that the world is in a much better position now that at any time in the pandemic, which just entered its fourth year. (Photo Credit: Reuters)
Tedros noted that the world is in a much better position now than at any time in the pandemic, which just entered its fourth year
World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Friday once again called on China to be ‘transparent’ in sharing COVID-19 data in efforts to determine the disease’s origins.
“We continue to call on China to be transparent in sharing data, and to conduct the necessary investigations and share the results,” Tedros said during his latest media briefing, a transcript of which was posted on WHO website.
“Understanding how the pandemic began remains both a moral and scientific imperative,” he added.
Tedros noted that the world is in a much better position now than at any time in the pandemic, which just entered its fourth year.
For the first time, the weekly number of reported deaths in the past four weeks has been lower than when the pandemic was first declared.
“I am confident that this year we will be able to say that COVID-19 is over as a public health emergency of international concern,” he said. “Even as we become increasingly hopeful about the end of the pandemic, the question of how it began remains unanswered,” he added.
Last Sunday, the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention uploaded data to the global virus database, GISAID, related to samples taken at the Huanan market in January 2020, UN News reported.
The seafood market is located in Wuhan, the city where SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, first emerged.
Scientists from several countries downloaded and analyzed the data, which was later removed. They have reportedly found molecular evidence that animals were sold at the market, some which, including raccoon dogs, were susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection.
Tedros said the WHO contacted the Chinese CDC and urged them to share the data with the UN agency and the international scientific community.
WHO convened its Scientific Advisory Group for the Origins of Novel Pathogens (SAGO) on Tuesday. Researchers from the Chinese CDC and international scientists were asked to present their analyses.
“These data do not provide a definitive answer to the question of how the pandemic began, but every piece of data is important in moving us closer to that answer,” said Tedros.
He stressed that all data relating to studying the origins of COVID-19 needs to be shared with the international community immediately.
“These data could have – and should have – been shared three years ago,” he said.
Read all the Latest News here