According to an internal draft obtained in advance by The Associated Press, a joint WHO-China traceability study shows that the new coronavirus was most likely transmitted from bats to humans via another animal, and that the likelihood of the virus being a laboratory leak is “extremely low.
The Associated Press reported Monday (March 29) that the researchers listed four scenarios for the emergence and spread of the new coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) in the report. Among them, the most likely scenario is transmission by bats through another animal.
The experts assessed the possibility of direct transmission from bats to humans and also mentioned the unlikely possibility of transmission of the virus through “cold chain” Food.
The report reportedly argues for these conclusions and recommends further research on hypotheses other than the laboratory leak hypothesis.
The closest thing to a new coronavirus found today is a related virus found in bats, but “the evolutionary distance between these bat viruses and the new coronavirus is estimated to be several decades, suggesting that there is a link in between,” according to the report.
The report also mentions that experts have found highly similar viruses in pangolins, and that mink and cats are susceptible to the new coronavirus, suggesting that they may also be carriers.
The report said, “No definite conclusions can be drawn about the role of the Wuhan South China Seafood Market in the origin of the outbreak and how the outbreak was introduced to the market.”
This new crown traceability report is scheduled to be officially released on Tuesday (March 30). International experts will also hold a press conference on Tuesday to discuss their findings, said WHO Director-General Tan Desai.
The report is based on a field trip to China in January and February of this year by an international team of WHO experts on the traceability of the new coronavirus, and a joint scientific collaboration with Chinese scientists on the traceability of the new coronavirus. The Associated Press said the report had been repeatedly delayed, raising questions about whether the Chinese side was trying to distort its conclusions.
Secretary of State Anthony Blinken expressed concern Sunday about China’s involvement in the report. In an interview with CNN, he said, “The WHO is going to release a report soon. We have real concerns about the methodology and the process of this report. The Beijing authorities, for example, apparently helped write the report.”
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian responded on Monday, saying China “will never accept baseless accusations and wanton smears from the U.S. side on the outbreak.”
He added that China was the first to report the outbreak to the World health Organization and was the first to release key information such as the genetic sequence of the new coronavirus, as well as treatment and prevention and control protocols. In addition, WHO experts also commented positively on the joint study, saying that China’s openness was “unprecedented” and that “the drafting of the traceability report has been carried out between experts from both sides, and the conclusions were formed through repeated studies in a scientific manner.