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Trust scientific conclusion that lab origin of COVID-19 'highly unlikely'

By Zhao Jia | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2021-03-31 21:40

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO), speaks in Geneva, Switzerland, Jan 18, 2021. [Photo/Agencies]

Beijing said on Wednesday that all parties should respect science and the conclusions of scientists, adding that in particular, the World Health Organization should serve as an exemplar in this respect.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a regular news briefing that the China-WHO experts team studying the origins of COVID-19 unanimously held the hypothesis that the virus' introduction through a laboratory incident was extremely unlikely.

It was a clarified, important and scientific conclusion of the joint report on the global tracing of COVID-19 origins, Hua said.

Her remarks came after World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said all hypotheses —including a possible laboratory leak — cannot be fully ruled out.

Hua underscored that it was China that responded to the quest of the World Health Organization and cooperated with it in the origin-tracing of COVID-19.

Hua said the joint expert team visited a number of agencies, including the Hubei Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Wuhan Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Wuhan Institute of Virology and various biosafety laboratories.

They conducted in-depth and candid exchanges based on science with relevant Chinese specialists, she said.

And it was through deep understanding and on-the-ground visits that they drew a scientific conclusion, she added.

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