It’s been well over a year since the Coronavirus broke out and was first reported in China’s Wuhan Province.
Since then, many countries, including the United States, have accused China of not coming clean on the origins of the virus, which has claimed 2.34 million lives.
Now, a team of 14 scientists, belonging to the World Health Organisation (WHO), investigating several accusations, including that the virus might have leaked from a lab in Wuhan, have concluded their probe.
According to a report in Daily Mail, the WHO investigators have backed the ruling Communist Party’s claims that “cold-chain products” such as Australian beef, may have caused the initial outbreak.
Peter Embarek, the leader of the WHO team, also said that studies should be carried out to find if the virus was imported into the country, adding it was “extremely unlikely” that the virus leaked from a lab. They even went on to declare that no further study should be undertaken into the theory.
In October, China had claimed that SARS-CoV2 broke out in various parts of the world in 2019 but it was the only one to have reported and acted first. The country also rubbished the widely-held view that the deadly contagion originated in Wuhan before turning out to be a pandemic.
The findings of the WHO report come as a shot in the arm for the Chinese who have repeatedly denied that letting up on their part cost so many human lives across the world.
But the report will arm the critics of WHO, who always feared the trip would become a part of “Chinese whitewashing.”
Reacting sharply to the WHO report, Australia’s Health Minister Greg Hunt said it was “not surprising that there are no surprises” there.
“The overwhelming likelihood is that you have an animal-based source and that the virus is likely to arise somewhere in the vicinity of the first human cases,” Hunt said.
Australian Senator Matt Canavan, too, was critical of the investigation and said: “Through this whole process, China’s acted like it had something to hide and it has frustrated the inquiry, dragged it out.”
“We needed this inquiry to start pretty much straight away if there was any hope of finding conclusions and it hasn’t,” Canavan was quoted as saying by news.com.au.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian had even said: “The tracing of the virus origin will most likely involve multiple countries and localities.”