COVID-19 virus did not leak from laboratory, says WHO team in Chinese city Wuhan

The World Health Organization team of experts investigating the origin of Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 in Wuhan said that the virus most probably got transmitted to humans via an intermediary species. Dr. Peter Ben Embarek, Head of the WHO-led team told their assessment to the press that initial findings suggest that the interaction to humans through an intermediary host species is the most likely pathway and one way that will require more studies and more specific targeted research. As the team was wrapping up a nearly one-month long visit to Wuhan, he said, its investigation had uncovered new information but had not dramatically changed the picture of the outbreak.

He added that work to identify the origins of the Coronavirus points to a natural reservoir in bats, but it is unlikely that they were in Wuhan, the central Chinese city from where the outbreak was discovered in late 2019. Our Beijing Correspondent is telling us more:

The WHO team probed four hypotheses around the transmission of coronavirus to the human population and concluded that the most likely scenario of introduction of virus to humans is through an intermediary host species. Other possibilities being direct transmission from animal to humans, transmission from frozen food to humans and possibility of a leakage from the lab. The WHO team dismissed the possibility of the laboratory-related incident saying that findings suggest that the laboratory hypothesis is extremely unlikely to explain the introduction of the virus to the human population. Other hypotheses need future studies. The WHO team was jointly working with the Chinese scientists on the data collected by them.

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