Will WHO finally find the origins of Covid-19?

In a final effort to find the origins of Covid-19, WHO has put together a new task force that would set out on a probe

It’s been close to two years since the coronavirus made its advent. Many lives have been lost, economies nosedived never to surface again and many thousands are still in throes of suffering. However, the quest to find out what actually triggered the virus is still a mystery.

The Covid-19 ailment, caused by the coronavirus, has been reappearing in waves of increased ferocity, and the world has been battling its attack with vaccines that boost potential. But still, the people around the globe are wary of when and how the illness will return and how damaging it would be in its new avatars.

Scientific Advisory Group on the Origins of Novel Pathogens

In a final effort to find the origins of Covid-19, the World Health Organization has now put in place a new task force. As many as 26 experts have been handpicked by the world health body and have formed a Scientific Advisory Group on the Origins of Novel Pathogens (Sago). The team has been entrusted with the task of finding out whether the virus had been transmitted to humans from animals at the Wuhan markets or whether it was an accidental leak from a lab.

The Chinese city of Wuhan was in the headlines after the first case of the virus spread became public. However, the lab leak speculation has been strongly opposed by China.

A team deployed by the World Health Organisation in February last had also termed the lab leak very unlikely. The WHO investigating team had then said that there was a chance that the virus had come from bats, but wasn’t conclusive about the argument, saying that more studies were imperative to ascertain the fact.

During those times, however, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General at WHO had stated that China did not act transparently during the investigation by not providing much data.

WHO team to study origins of other high-risk pathogens too

The latest investigations team constituted by WHO as its last chance to find how the illness was born will look deeper for the actual answer to the question that has been haunting the global healthcare community. Significantly, the new ago group out together will have six experts who had been part of the previous team that had visited China.  

The team is expected to look at the issue in detail and also include studies on the origins of other high-risk pathogens. This is because the experts feel that it is important to know where new pathogens come from in terms of putting a halt to future outbreaks.

With the world health body still not ready to rule out the lab leak accident, the findings of the latest Sago group would be significant. Meanwhile, a BBC report quoted Chen Xu, China’s ambassador to the UN in Geneva, saying that Sago’s work should not be politicised.

We will have to wait to know what actually the findings would be.