The World Health Organization (WHO) released a report on the investigation on where and how the coronavirus pandemic began. The 300-page report was parsed by numerous news agencies, including NPR. Here are some takeaways.
Scientists confirm that early cases in December 2019 had no link to the Huanan Seafood Market, in Wuhan, China, the previously thought hot spot of the pandemic. And while the virus didn’t originate at the Huanan Seafood Market, it quickly spread there.
Scientists believe the market is a place where the coronavirus could easily spread. “There was a mixed smell of animals and disinfection in some areas of the market,” the WHO report said. “It was later clarified by the manager in a subsequent meeting that those were the smell of rotten meat since all stalls were closed suddenly without removal of their products.”
But scientists still cannot confirm the source of the virus, something the WHO said would need more research. I do not believe that this assessment was extensive enough. Further data and studies will be needed to reach more robust conclusions,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the WHO’s director general, said at a briefing for member states about the report. “This report is a very important beginning, but it is not the end. We have not yet found the source of the virus, and we must continue to follow the science and leave no stone unturned as we do.”
Source: Al Jazeera English/YouTube
Eddie Holmes, a virologist at the University of Sydney in Australia, said in Nature that the focus of continued study should be at live animal markets and animals. “There was clearly a lot of transmission at the market,” he says. “To me, looking at live-animal markets and animal farming should be the focus going forward.”
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