Around thirteen scientists from a 15-member international team (from 10 countries) led by the WHO rushed in Wuhan, China to examine the origins of the novel Coronavirus that sparked COVID-19 Pandemic on 14 January 2021 and spent the first two weeks working by video conference from a hotel while in quarantine.
According to the media reports, WHO food safety and animal diseases expert Peter Ben Embarek made the assessment at the end of their visit to Wuhan.
Notably, the first cases of Coronavirus were discovered in the city in December 2019.
The Wuhan Institute of Virology has collected extensive virus samples, leading to allegations that it may have caused the original outbreak by leaking the virus into the surrounding community.
China has strongly rejected that possibility and has promoted other theories that the virus may have originated elsewhere. The team is considering several theories for how the disease first ended up in humans.
Indian Express reported: Embarek said, “Our initial findings suggest that the introduction through an intermediary host species is the most likely pathway and one that will require more studies and more specific, targeted research.”
However, the findings suggest that the laboratory incidents hypothesis is extremely unlikely to explain the introduction of the virus to the human population, Embarek said adding “Transmission through the trade-in frozen products was also a likely possibility,” it reported.