WHO Hopes to Continue its Previous visit to China on the Traceability of the New Coronavirus
The WHO stated that the purpose of this visit is to ensure that a wide range of scientific skills and expertise are identified in order to advise the WHO on the research needed to determine the source of any potential pathogens of a new or re-emerging pandemic in the future.
It stated that China and some other member states have sent a letter to the WHO on the basis for further research on the “laboratory hypothesis” of the new coronavirus. They imply that origin research has been politicized and that WHO is taking action due to political pressure.
The WHO stated that it determined that there was insufficient scientific evidence to rule out any hypotheses when it reviewed the Phase 1 study report. Specifically, in order to clarify the “laboratory hypothesis” issue, it is important to obtain all the data, consider scientific best practices, and study the mechanisms that WHO has established. It emphasizes that WHO only focuses on science, provides solutions and builds solidarity.
It said that smallpox is the only human virus that has been eradicated. Only two countries in the world, Russia and the United States, store variola virus in safe laboratories. The WHO Biosafety Team inspects the smallpox laboratories of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Russia and the United States every two years. The most recent visit to the Russian laboratories took place from January to February 2019. The inspection of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention laboratory was completed in May 2019. The inspection team submitted a report to the World Health Assembly and published it on the WHO website.
The WHO emphasizes that analyzing and improving the laboratory safety and procedures of all laboratories in the world, including China, is very important to the world’s collective biosafety and security.
It said that finding the origin of a new virus is a very difficult scientific task that takes time. WHO is committed to following science. It calls on governments to put aside their differences and work together to provide all the data and access to it so that the next series of studies can begin as soon as possible.
The WHO stated in a statement that since the start of the new crown pandemic, WHO has been working with Member States and the scientific community to better understand how the pandemic started so that it can contribute to the next pandemic. Be better prepared.
Following the release of the first phase of the WHO-China joint report on the traceability of the coronavirus in March 2021, WHO outlined the next series of studies that need to be carried out, and continues to discuss next steps with Member States and experts .
The World Health Organization calls on governments not to politicize this issue and cooperate to speed up origin research in order to move forward. It is important to work together to develop a common framework for pandemic pathogens that may emerge in the future.
It stated that WHO’s priority is for scientists to implement the recommendations outlined in the March 2021 report on the basis of the first phase of research, and to accelerate scientific efforts for all hypothetical studies.
The WHO reiterated that searching for the origin of the new coronavirus is not and should not be an act of blaming, accusing or scoring politically. It is important to understand how the COVID-19 pandemic started and to establish an example for determining the origin of all future animal-human transmission events.
It emphasizes that countries have a collective responsibility to work together in a true spirit of partnership and to ensure that scientists and experts have the necessary space to find the root cause of the worst epidemic in a century. On the basis of some facts, the next series of studies will include further examination of the original data of the earliest cases and the serum of potential early cases in 2019. Access to data is essential to deepen scientists’ understanding of science, and it should not be politicized in any way.
The WHO said it is cooperating with some countries that have reported the detection of new coronaviruses in samples of biological specimens stored in 2019. For example, in Italy, WHO assisted international laboratories in an independent evaluation of the results of one such study, which included blind retests of blood samples before the pandemic. It said that sharing raw data and allowing samples to be re-tested in laboratories outside Italy reflects scientific solidarity to the greatest extent, which is in line with WHO’s encouragement of all countries, including China, to provide support so that it can be promoted quickly and effectively. Origin research is no different.
The WHO stated that the WHO is forming the “International Scientific Advisory Group on the Origin of New Pathogens” (SAGO), which is responsible for providing advice to WHO on the development of a global framework to systematically study the emergence of emerging pathogens with pandemic potential in the future . For the new coronavirus, it will support the rapid implementation of the recommended studies outlined in the March 2021 report.
WHO stated that it will openly solicit nominations for members of this group in order to establish a transparent basis for it. It expressed the hope that all Member States can participate.