London (Reportase One) – There is no evidence that the virus that causes COVID-19 originated in animals, former head of China’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) George Gao said Friday.
Gao said this during a summit on pandemic preparations in London.
He was head of the China CDC when the first cases of COVID-19 appeared in Wuhan in late 2019.
“Until now, people thought some animals were hosts or reservoirs,” said Gao.
“In short, there is no evidence that animals are the origin of the virus,” he said, adding.
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The origins of the COVID-19 pandemic are still a mystery. China has been criticized for failing to further trace the origin of the virus.
The Chinese government has said that it always supports all efforts to investigate the origins of COVID-19.
The World Health Organization (WHO) says all hypotheses about the origins of COVID-19 are still in the research stage.
One of the hypotheses is that the virus is linked to a heavily guarded laboratory in Wuhan that studies dangerous germs.
China disputes that hypothesis.
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WHO also said that so far the evidence suggests the virus originated in animals, possibly bats.
Data on the start of the pandemic was uploaded to a global database by Chinese scientists last month.
The data includes the genetic sequence of more than 1,000 environmental and animal samples taken in January 2020 at a Huanan seafood market in Wuhan.
The data shows that the DNA of various animal species, including raccoons, was found in environmental samples that tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, which is the virus that causes COVID.
This suggests that these animals are the most likely carriers of the disease.
Also read: WHO experts prepare proposals for further studies on the origin of the corona
Translator: Anton Santoso
Editor: Jafar M Sidik
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