WHO chief says he stressed collaboration on COVID-19 origins with China
World Health Organization (WHO) chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Saturday that he stressed greater cooperation in investigating the origins of the novel coronavirus during conversations with Chinese officials.
In a Twitter thread on Sunday, Tedros said he also spoke with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang about the global goal of vaccinating 70 percent of the world’s population this year.
“Pleased to meet with Premier Li Keqiang. We discussed #COVID19 and the need for an aggressive effort on #VaccinEquity this year to vaccinate 70% of all populations. Solidarity is key to ensuring access and affordability of vaccines,” Tedros wrote in his tweet.
“We also discussed the need for stronger collaboration on #COVID19 virus origins, rooted in science and evidence. I welcomed his support to strengthen @WHO and discussion about a #PandemicAccord to advance global preparedness,” Tedros concluded.
The WHO last year established the Scientific Advisory Group on the Origins of Novel Pathogens, calling on China to provide raw data concerning its investigation on the matter, Reuters reported.
Chinese officials denied WHO’s request for data, citing patient privacy rules. Beijing has continually denied that the COVID-19 virus was leaked from a laboratory in the city of Wuhan.
A joint study from WHO and China found the most likely scenario on how COVID-19 began was spreading through a human naturally infected through the wildlife trade, Reuters noted.