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.
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.
In the past, the Chinese have repeatedly pinned the blame for the pandemic on other countries, including Bangladesh, the US, Greece, India, Italy, Czech Republic, Russia, and Serbia.