WHO Director General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the scientific evidence so far has suggested the animal-man connect. If anyone has any evidence to the contrary, they should present scientific evidence.
BY B N KUMAR
MUMBAI, Sep 25 (BNC Network) Even as COVID has already claimed a million lives globally, World Health Organisation (WHO) scoffed at a Chinese virologist claim that the dreaded corona virus has been created in a Wuhan laboratory
Asked by Business News Network about a Chinese virologist Dr Li-Meng Yan’s claim that the virus is lab made and not natural, WHO Director General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the scientific evidence so far has suggested the animal-man connect. If anyone has any evidence to the contrary, they should present scientific evidence. He said he had nothing to say about some people giving media interviews as “my Indian colleague asked”.
Dr Yan has claimed that the novel coronavirus was made in a government controlled laboratory in Wuhan and asserted that she has scientific proof to back the claim, Hindustan Times reported.
When BNC raised this question top three WHO officials took pains to clarify the global organisation’s stand, at length.
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.
He said effective vaccines, diagnostics and therapeutics will be vital for ending the COVID19 pandemic and accelerating the Earth globe Europe-Africa recovery.
But these life-saving tools will only be effective if they are available for the most vulnerable equitably and simultaneously in all countries, he pointed out.
"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.