Experts from the World Health Organization (WHO) could not come to an unambiguous conclusion about the origin of the coronavirus.
On Tuesday in Geneva, a report was published on the results of the work of WHO specialists in the Chinese city of Wuhan. In total, the international team examined four scenarios. So, the most likely option, experts called the transmission of coronavirus from an animal to another animal, and then to a person. Scientists rated the variant of direct transmission from animal to human on a scale “from possible to probable.” They consider the variant of the emergence of coronavirus through the supply of refrigerated products “possible”, and scientists called the laboratory origin of SARS-CoV-2 “extremely unlikely”.
According to scientists, the exact route of infection of people with coronavirus is unknown. However, there is circumstantial evidence pointing to “a number of potential routes” of infection, including from bats. In this case, minks, pangolins, rabbits, raccoon dogs, domestic cats, martens and ferret badgers could be “intermediate carriers”, experts emphasize.
In addition, scientists are not completely clear on whether the Wuhan Huanan market was the primary source of the spread of the coronavirus, since many of the early cases of COVID-19 were recorded in other markets, and sometimes beyond them. In addition, infection with the new coronavirus was detected in a number of countries earlier than in Wuhan. It is also not established in what period people began to become infected. It is estimated that the outbreak could have started before mid-December 2019.
The experts called for further scientific work to clarify the origin of the coronavirus “in a spirit of cooperation.”
Recall that a group of WHO experts arrived in Wuhan to study the origin of the new type of coronavirus on January 14. Scientists have been conducting joint research with Chinese specialists for almost a month.