China, on November 27, claimed that just because COVID-19 cases were first reported in Wuhan does not mean the contagion originated in the central Chinese city. The remarks come days after the Xi Jinping administration reassured WHO to allow international experts into the country to investigate the origins of the virus. While, Trump-led administration and its allies have touted that SARS-CoV 2 might have originated in the Chinese wet markets if not bio-laboratories, Beijing has repeatedly denied all allegations.
‘Virus might have entered china through imports’
With the days of WHO’s probe nearing, multiple outlets of the state-led media are now running reports stating that a number of imported food products from different countries were found to have traces of the COVID-19 alleging that the virus may have entered China through foreign routes. The list of contaminated food products also includes a consignment of fish from India.
Reiterating the stance, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian asserted that “even though China was the first to report coronavirus, but doesn’t necessarily mean China is where the virus originated”. Addressing a press briefing in Beijing, he added that the origin process was a “complex scientific issue” and required joint cooperation by the scientific community worldwide. “Only by doing so we can guard against future risks because origin tracing is an evolving and sustained process that involves many countries and regions,” Lijian said.
WHO’s probe into virus origins
China has reassured that it would allow international experts to enter the country in order to investigate the animal origins of COVID-19, World Health Organization said on November 23. The UN agency, in July, had sent a team of experts to lay the groundwork for investigation. However, it has remained unclear whether international scientists would be allowed inside China to conduct epidemiological studies and identify the first human cases of COVID-19 and source of infection.
Scientists across the world believe that the virus jumped from bats to humans in a market selling exotic meat in Wuhan. However, lately, many have opined that the COVID-19 may have emerged at a place where the infection was amplified. Many experts also believe that intermediate host animals such as pangolins might have expedited the spread. WHO has been trying to send a team to China since the beginning of the outbreak, however, it has been stalled owing to denial of permissions by China’s communist government.