The World Health Organization (WHO) is interested in collaborating with foreign partners and would like to receive an invitation from China to investigate the animal origin of a new type of coronavirus, the official representative of WHO Tarik Jasarevic told TASS on Friday.
“WHO would be keen to work with international partners and at the invitation of the Chinese Government to participate in investigation around the animal origins,” said Jasarevic, adding that this concerns in particular, a detailed clarification of the “source and type of wildlife species and farmed animals sold in these markets.”
As Jasarevic emphasized, “it is our understanding that a number of investigations to better understand the source of the outbreak in China are currently underway or planned, including investigations of human cases with symptom onset in and around Wuhan in late 2019, environmental sampling from markets and farms in areas where the first human cases were identified, and detailed records on the source and type of wildlife species and farmed animals sold in these markets. WHO is not currently involved in the studies in China.”
According to him, the results from these “studies are essential to preventing further zoonotic introductions of the virus that causes COVID-19 into the human population”.
On April 30, WHO representative in China Dr. Gauden Galea told Sky News in an interview that the organization’s experts did not receive an invitation from China to take part in investigating the origins of the coronavirus infection. “We know that some national investigation is happening but at this stage we have not been invited to join,” said he. According to him, taking into account all the available data, WHO is convinced that the virus is of animal origin, and was not created by humans.