March 29, 2021 — The brand new coronavirus was more than likely transmitted from bats to people by way of one other mammal species, whereas a lab leak of the virus is “extraordinarily unlikely,” based on a draft copy of a joint World Well being Group-China report on the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic that was obtained by the Related Press.
The findings are primarily based largely on a WHO staff’s go to earlier this 12 months to Wuhan, the Chinese language metropolis the place COVID-19 was first detected.
The research notes that the closest relative of the brand new coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) has been present in bats, however “the evolutionary distance between these bat viruses and SARS-CoV-2 is estimated to be a number of many years, suggesting a lacking hyperlink,” the AP reported.
Extremely related viruses have been present in pangolins, however mink and cats are vulnerable to the COVID-19 virus, suggesting they may be carriers, based on the research.
The draft research all however dismissed a speculative principle that the virus escaped from a lab in Wuhan, the AP reported.
There isn’t a agency conclusion on whether or not the pandemic originated in a Wuhan seafood market the place one of many earliest cluster of instances occurred in December 2019.
The research has been finalized and was being fact-checked and translated, Peter Ben Embarek, the WHO professional who led the Wuhan mission, instructed the AP.
“I anticipate that within the subsequent few days, that complete course of might be accomplished and we will launch it publicly,” he stated.
It is not clear whether or not there might be modifications to the research earlier than its launch. The WHO didn’t instantly reply to the AP’s requests for remark.
The draft research gives little new perception into how the virus began to unfold worldwide and leaves many questions unanswered, and the investigators proposed additional analysis into each space besides the lab leak principle.