They rule out a first lead on the origin of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The head of experts from the World Health Organization (WHO) who are investigating in Wuhan (China) the origin of the disease seems to rule out, this Thursday, the thesis of the leak from a laboratory.
It is an “excellent script” for a film, he says.
Peter Ben Embarek is one of ten WHO researchers who arrived last month.
The team visited the Wuhan Institute of Virology in central China on Wednesday, accused, in particular by former US President Donald Trump, of having let the virus escape from one of his laboratories, accidentally or not.
It is so far the most controversial site visited by the delegation.
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“If we start tracking and chasing ghosts here and there, we'll never get anywhere,” said Ben Embarek, reached by phone.
High security P3 and P4 laboratories
However, the visit to the Institute was "an important step
understand where these stories come from", according to this food security specialist, stationed for the WHO in Beijing, the Chinese capital, at the beginning of the years. 2010s.
Since 2012, the Wuhan Institute of Virology has had a high-security P3 laboratory (for "class 3 pathogen") which studies many viruses, in particular coronaviruses.
The establishment also has a P4 (for even more dangerous pathogens).
A laboratory with even greater security, which can house strains like Ebola, and which the WHO was able to visit.
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Peter Ben Embarek affirms to have had with his Chinese interlocutors "very frank discussions", useful "to understand" their position on "a certain number of statements seen and read in the media".
Before leaving his post as head of American diplomacy, Mike Pompeo again pointed the finger at the Institute in mid-January.
However, no proof has so far come to support this hypothesis.
All these conjectures would make "excellent scenarios for films and series", believes the head of the WHO experts, however promising to "follow the science and the facts" to draw a final conclusion on the origin of the pandemic .
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The delegation is due to complete its mission in Wuhan next week.
“We will not have complete answers on the origin of the virus, but it will be a good first step.