Ex-US Intelligence Head: WHO Report on COVID-19 Origin 'Disingenuous'

Dr Tedros says the WHO is getting closer to understanding the COVID-19 virus

Dr Tedros says the WHO is getting closer to understanding the COVID-19 virus

Peter Ben Embarek, the leader of the World Health Organization mission, said the team had gained a much better insight into the early stages of the outbreak and concluded there was no large cluster of the disease in Wuhan or elsewhere around the city in the months prior to the first cases in December 2019.

"Some questions have been raised as to whether some hypotheses have been discarded".

A World Health Organization scientific team that was finally allowed into Wuhan and the live animal market where the first cases of COVID-19 were diagnosed more than a year ago, has emerged after a two-week visit to announce everything China's dictators could have wanted.

He said, "The number of reported COVID-19 cases globally has declined for the first week in a row and the number of deaths has declined for the second consecutive week".

The administration of former US President Donald Trump claimed the virus may have leaked from the facility.

A summary report of the mission's findings could emerge as early as next week, followed by a final report "in the coming weeks", said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

The mission has said its main hypotheses are that the virus originated in a bat, although there are several possible scenarios for how it passed to humans, possibly first by infecting another species of animal. We have always said that this mission would not find all the answers, but it has added important information that takes us closer to understanding the origins of the virus.

He also said the number of deaths had declined for the second consecutive week, adding that these were because of countries implementing the safety protocols more stringently.

Tedros said that the drop in confirmed Covid-19 infections around the world was encouraging, but cautioned against relaxing restrictions that have helped curb the spread of the coronavirus.

"The increasing deaths from Covid-19 we are seeing are tragic, but are also disturbing warning signs that health workers and health systems in Africa are dangerously overstretched". Tedros urged nations not to let their guard down and relax those measures just yet.

"This illness affects patients with both severe and mild Covid-19", he said.

To promote a better understanding of post-COVID sickness and support patient care and public health interventions, the WHO has called on clinicians and patients to report data on symptoms to the Organisation's Clinical Platform.

Last month, the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention called on member states to strengthen their healthcare systems in preparation for COVID-19 vaccination programme.

The experts visited Wuhan from January 29 to February 10.

New Zealand will get first batch of coronavirus vaccines next week