WHO envoys to Wuhan will not publish their preliminary report on the origin of COVID-19

Peter Ben Embarek, a member of the World Health Organization (WHO) team in charge of investigating the origins of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), greets as he arrives at the airport to leave Wuhan, in Hubei province, China

Experts from the World Health Organization (WHO) sent to Wuhan, China in January to investigate the origin of the covid-19 pandemic will not release their preliminary findings, the newspaper said on Thursday. The Wall Street Journal (WSJ).

The decision was made in a context of growing tensions between the United States and China over the access conditions offered by Beijing for the team to carry out its task..

The Director General of WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, had announced on February 12 that experts would quickly publish a preliminary report that would summarize the investigations carried out during a month in China.

That first report was still waiting on Thursday, almost three weeks after the end of the mission to Wuhan, the Chinese city where the pandemic is believed to have originated at the end of 2019.

A mere summary would not satisfy the curiosity of the readers ”, Investigative team chief Peter Ben Embarek told WSJ.

Now the WHO plans to publish “in the coming weeks” a full report that will include the “main conclusions”, according to a WHO spokesman quoted by the US newspaper.

The United States expects China to demonstrate “transparency,” to share what it knows about the early days of the pandemic, State Department spokesman Ned Price said Thursday.

US State Department spokesman Ned Price
US State Department spokesman Ned Price

“It’s about learning and doing, being positioned to do everything we can to protect each other, the American people, and the international community, against future pandemic threats.”Price said.

“That is why we need that understanding. That is why we need the transparency of the Chinese government “, he claimed.

Meanwhile, the WHO ruled out that humanity could end the covid-19 pandemic by the end of the year. “It would be very premature and, I think, unrealistic to think that we are going to end this virus before 2022,” said Michael Ryan, the agency’s director of emergency operations.

For the official, however, it is possible “that what we can eliminate, if we are smart, are the hospitalizations, deaths and tragedies associated with this pandemic “.

At the same time, the institution has warned that, For the first time in seven weeks, coronavirus cases in the world have increased, something that the organization’s CEO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, has described as “disappointing but not surprising.”

Except for Africa and the Western Pacific, all regions reflected an increase in infections last week. According to the director, it could be due to “the relaxation of public health measures, the continuous circulation of variants and people letting their guard down.”

(With information from AFP)

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