Three Quad countries—the United States, Japan and Australia—are among 14 nations that have voiced concern over a joint report by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and China on the origin of the Coronavirus.
The report released by the WHO on Tuesday attributes transmission from bats to another animal and subsequently to humans as the most likely way the pandemic began. A WHO team of international experts visited China’s Wuhan—where the virus was first detected—between January 14 and February 10 this year after calls for an independent probe into the origin of the outbreak.
“The international expert study on the source of the SARS-CoV-2 virus was significantly delayed and lacked access to complete, original data and samples,” said the joint statement to which Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Israel, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, the Republic of Korea, Slovenia and the United Kingdom are co-signatories.
Meanwhile, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has said the assessment ‘wasn’t extensive enough’ and that the team faced difficulties in ‘accessing raw data’. “I expect future collaborative studies to include more timely and comprehensive data sharing.”