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Finding the origin of COVID-19 is a moral imperative: Tedros – World WHONews WAALI

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GENEVA: Discovering the origins of COVID-19 is a moral imperative and all hypotheses must be examined, the head of the World Health Organization said, in the clearest sign yet that the UN body remains committed to finding out how the virus arose.

The Wall Street Journal reported that a US agency had assessed that the pandemic was likely caused by an accidental Chinese laboratory leak, raising pressure on the World Health Organization to find solutions.

Beijing denies the assessment could become public soon after the US House of Representatives voted this week to declassify it.

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“Understanding the origins of # COVID19 and exploring all theories remains: a scientific imperative, to help us prevent future outbreaks (and) a moral imperative, for the sake of the millions of people who died and those who live with #COVIDLong,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Twitter late Saturday.

He was writing to mark three years since the World Health Organization first used the word “pandemic” to describe the global outbreak of COVID-19.

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Activists, politicians and academics said in an open letter this weekend that the focus of the anniversary should be on preventing a repeat of the unequaled COVID-19 vaccine, saying it has led to at least 1.3 million preventable deaths.

In 2021, a WHO-led team spent weeks in and around Wuhan, China where the first human cases were reported and said in a joint report that the virus was likely transmitted from bats to humans through another animal, but further research was needed.

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China has said no more visits are needed.

The World Health Organization has since set up a scientific advisory group on dangerous pathogens but has yet to reach any conclusions on how the pandemic started, saying key pieces of data are missing.


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