The World Health Organization announced that it is too early to reach any conclusions regarding the work of its mission to Wuhan and whether the Covid-19 pandemic has begun in China.
A team of WHO experts arrived in Wuhan on January 14 to investigate the origin of the Corona virus, more than a year after the first infections appeared in the city in central China.
The mission personnel were transferred to a hotel to be quarantined.
“All hypotheses are on the table,” said Michael Ryan, director of the WHO’s emergency program. “It is certainly too early to reach an accurate conclusion about where this virus appeared, whether inside or outside China.”
He added during a press conference in Geneva, “There are different scientific observations in different regions of the world and all of them are of great importance because they form the integrated picture.”
He likened the situation to “a large jigsaw puzzle (Basel), whereby you cannot know the image by looking at one piece out of ten thousand.”
The virus has killed more than two million people so far, infected tens of millions and affected the global economy.
The World Health Organization considers that determining the path of transmission of the virus from animals to humans is necessary to prevent outbreaks of similar epidemics in the future, and that the investigation should begin in the place where the first infections were discovered.
“Let’s go back a step back and follow the evidence and science. Our team is on the ground and having a good experience working with our Chinese colleagues,” Ryan said, noting that work is now underway to prepare “the data.”
“The data will lead us to where the next step should be to look at the origin of this virus,” he added.
“It is too early to reach any conclusion, but we believe that we are making some progress and we hope that we will continue to do so for the sake of public health in the future,” he concluded.