WHO Director General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said WHO believes in science and evidence and that is why it stresses on “science, solutions and solidarity”. All the publications that we have seen say that the virus came naturally.
By B N KUMAR
MUMBAI, Sep 27 (BNC Network) A local startup’s question to World Health Organisation (WHO) quoting a Chinese virologist that the novel Corona virus is made in a Wuhan lab has stirred a hornet’s nest.
The media start-up, BizNewsConnect, has sought WHO explanation during a virtual global media conference on Friday evening on Chinese virologist Dr Li-Meng Yan’s media interviews claiming that the virus is not natural and that it has been created in a lab at Wuhan, the first city to be devastated by COVID-19.
Three officials from WHO explained that the evidence so far suggested that the virus is natural.
WHO Director General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said WHO believes in science and evidence and that is why it stresses on “science, solutions and solidarity”. All the publications that we have seen say that the virus came naturally. Whoever goes to media and speaks something, we can’t say anything. But we urge them to go through the process of science. Here science and evidence will be central, Dr Tedros said.
Global Times of China retweeted Dr Tedros’ explanation: “The virus has happened naturally. These are all the publications we know, and if there is anything that will change this, it should come through the proper scientific process,” @DrTedros said in response to an India reporter’s claim that “#COVID19 came from China” on Friday.
WHO technical lead Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove said a large team of scientists are working on animal-human interface. WHO believes in science and evidence, she said and pointed out that the global health body is doing focused research with China as well.
Dr Michael Ryan, Executive Director, WHO Health Emergencies Programme, also stressed that the organization has identified animal-human link as one of the sources of the virus. WHO is also working closely with FAO and Chinese scientists. The DG has dispatched a team to China, he said.
To a question from another journalist whether the world stares at another million COVID deaths, Dr Ryan explained: “Yes, we will look at those numbers, (one million) or perhaps even larger,” said Dr Michael Ryan, Executive Director, WHO Health Emergencies Programme, answering questions during a virtual global media conference.
Dr Ryan’s fears came as WHO Director General Dr Tedros, in his opening remarks, called for immediate funding of 35 billion dollars for the ACT Accelerator programme for COVID vaccine.
The money might look large, but is equivalent to what the world spends on cigarettes every two weeks, Dr Tedros quipped.
"Many countries have poured money into domestic stimulus packages. But these investments will not on their own address the root cause of the economic crisis – which is the disease that paralyses health systems, disrupts economies and drives fear and uncertainty,” Dr Tedros said
The so-called lockdowns and the impact on global travel and trade have already taken such a heavy toll. The global economy is expected to contract by trillions of dollars this year, he said.