Studies published on Tuesday, concluding that the Covid-19 pandemic began in the Wuhan market in China, are an element to add "
to the scientific investigation
" on the origins of the pandemic but not a definitive proof, underlined the Wednesday 27 July.
All hypotheses remain on the table
,” explained Dr. Michael Ryan, in charge of emergency situations at WHO during a press briefing in Geneva.
It's a science detective story (...) every new piece of information adds to the big picture and every new piece of information, new science or new study can advance one hypothesis or another
," acknowledged the doctor. Ryan.
But he adds that “
all the hypotheses remain on the table until one can prove that one of these hypotheses is the correct explanation
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Leakage theory from a laboratory
The first of two studies published Tuesday in the prestigious journal
is a geographical analysis showing that the first cases detected in December 2019 were concentrated around the market.
The second is a genomic analysis of the virus from the first cases, showing that it is very unlikely that the virus circulated widely in humans before November 2019. Debate has raged since the start of the pandemic between experts, who are still looking almost three years later to elucidate the mystery of the origin of the virus.
In addition to the camp defending the thesis of the market there are also supporters of the theory of a leak from a laboratory in the city.
Doctor Maria van Kerkhove, in charge of coordinating the fight against Covid-19 within the WHO, stressed that there was still a lot to be done.
For us what is really critical is to investigate further in China, to investigate further in Wuhan and in the markets of Wuhan
”, insisted the doctor, recalling in particular that the WHO would like to have access to serological samples. of people who worked in the markets, of those who were in contact with the animals likely to transmit the disease, but also to have more information on the animals sold on these markets, the farms where they were raised, etc.
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We need to do more studies in China and elsewhere
," she insisted, while the Chinese authorities have so far only authorized one joint investigation on the spot and have not given access to serological data requested by the WHO.
The goal is not only to know how this pandemic started, but it is to know how to better prepare for the future
”, recalled the doctor.