WHO report says animals are likely source of COVID-19
Context: A joint WHO-China study on the origins of COVID-19 says that transmission of the virus from bats to humans through another animal is the most likely scenario and that a lab leak is extremely unlikely.The findings offer little new insight into how the virus first emerged. But it does provide more detail on the reasoning behind the researchers’ conclusions.
- The report, which is expected to be made public soon, is being closely watched as it could help scientists prevent future pandemics — but it’s also extremely sensitive since China bristles at any suggestion that it is to blame for the current one.
- The report is based largely on a visit by a WHO team of international experts to Wuhan, the Chinese city where COVID-19 was first detected.
- The researchers listed four scenarios in order of likelihood for the emergence of the new coronavirus.
- Topping the list was transmission from bats through another animal, which they said was likely to be very likely.
- The draft report is inconclusive on whether the outbreak started at a Wuhan seafood market.