The World Health Organization team has dismissed rumour that the deadly virus, COVID-19 originated from Wuhan in China.
At the early stage of the outbreak of the virus, there had been different theories pointing accusing fingers to Wuhan, with some claiming the virus leaked from a laboratory.
The WHO, after two weeks of research, has, however, asserted that there was no evidence to back up the widely speculated story behind the origin of COVID-19.
The organisation gave some credence to China’s focus on the possibility of transmission via frozen food.
WHO made this this known in a lengthy press conference on Tuesday, where it representatives revealed that it worked with China investigative mission during the period of the research.
The team noted that it did not conclude miraculously but carried out a rigorous research to get their result. They, nonetheless, said they are still doubtful on how the virus entered Huanan seafood market, but said all evidences point to a natural cause.
The team said they had examined four main hypotheses for the introduction of the virus into the human population.
The team dismissed claims by former US President Donald Trump, that the virus came from a laboratory related incident and clarified that the hypothesis does not imply further study.
The chairman of the investigation team and the WHO’s food safety and animal disease specialist, Peter Ben Embarek, said the team looked at the arguments for and against the hypothesis, and while “accidents do happen, there had been no publication or research of this virus or one close to this virus, anywhere in the world.”
He said they interviewed employees and examined the health audit processes when they visited the Wuhan Institute of Virology, but said they did not find any activity suspicious in that place.
The hypothesis of direct zoonotic transmission from an animal to a human was worthy of further investigative studies, Embarek said, but the most likely pathway was via an intermediary species that was “potentially closer to humans where the virus can adapt and circulate and then jump to humans.
“The intermediary hypothesis will require more studies and more specific and targeted research.
“Similarly, connected to this hypothesis is the theory of transmission by cold chain products. There needed to be more investigation of the possible role of the cold chain, frozen products in the introduction of the virus over a distance.”
Prof Liang Wannian, the head of the expert COVID-19 panel at China’s National Health Commission, insisted that the virus first occurred outside China and emphasised the possibility of transmission via frozen food sold at the Wuhan market.
They team is also considering the possibility of the virus introduced to the market through an infected person.
Liang, asked that the origin of the virus should not be linked to any region even as he said, their investigation is concluded already.