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Friday Mar 05 2021
By
AFP

WHO not to issue interim report on Wuhan virus mission: report

By
AFP
Members of the World Health Organization (WHO) team, investigating the origins of the COVID-19 coronavirus, visit the closed Huanan Seafood wholesale market in Wuhan, China's central Hubei province on January 31, 2021. Photo: AFP

  • WHO team had returned recently from Wuhan saying it had no clear finding on the genesis of the virus.
  • Report says team will now publish the full and final report, with a summary of its findings.
  • Wuhan is the city where the pandemic is believed to have originated in late 2019.


WASHINGTON: A report published in a US newspaper has claimed that the World Health Organisation will not issue an interim report of the team sent to Wuhan in China to investigate the origins of the coronavirus pandemic.

Wuhan is the city where the pandemic is believed to have originated in late 2019.

The WHO team returned recently from its visit there saying it had no clear finding on the genesis of the virus, amid tensions between the US and China on what caused the once-in-a century global health crisis.

The United States responded by saying it had "deep concerns" about what the team learned and it pressed China for more information.

Read more: WHO's Wuhan probe ends, US-China bickering over COVID continues

WHO director Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus had said February 12 that a preliminary report with a summary of the team's findings would be issued soon thereafter, and a full report in a matter of weeks.

But now the plan is to scrap the interim report, the The Wall Street Journal reported late Thursday, quoting Peter Ben Embarek, the scientist who led the team.

Instead, the team will publish the full and final report, with a summary of its findings, the newspaper said, quoting a WHO spokesman.

Read more: WHO team in Wuhan to probe origins of coronavirus as China reports first death in months

This broader report "will be published in coming weeks and will include key findings," it quoted this spokesman as saying.

"By definition a summary report does not have all the details," Ben Embarek was quoted as saying.

"So since there (is) so much interest in this report, a summary only would not satisfy the curiosity of the readers," he added.

Read more: New year brings cheer and festivities to coronavirus-hit Chinese city of Wuhan

US State Department spokesman Ned Price called on China Thursday to share what it knows from the earliest days of the pandemic.

"It is about learning and doing, being positioned to do everything we can to protect ourselves, the American people, and the international community against pandemic threats going forward," Price told a briefing.

"That's why we need this understanding. That's why we need this transparency from the Chinese government," he said.