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Monday, March 27, 2023

After raccoon dog revelations, WHO urges China to release all COVID-related data

New findings counsel that raccoon canines have been current within the Wuhan market and should have additionally been contaminated by the coronavirus

Advisors to the World Well being Group on Saturday urged China to launch all data associated to the origin of the COVID-19 pandemic after new findings have been briefly shared on a global database used to trace pathogens.

New sequences of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in addition to further genomic knowledge primarily based on samples taken from a reside animal market in Wuhan, China in 2020 have been briefly uploaded to the GISAID database by Chinese language scientists earlier this yr, permitting them to be considered by researchers in different nations, based on the assertion from the WHO’s Scientific Advisory Group for the Origins of Novel Pathogens (SAGO).

The sequences recommended that raccoon canines have been current available in the market and should have additionally been contaminated by the coronavirus, offering a brand new clue within the chain of transmission that ultimately reached people.

Entry to the knowledge was subsequently restricted “apparently to permit additional knowledge updates” by the Chinese language Heart for Illness Management and Prevention (CDC).

WHO officers mentioned the matter with Chinese language colleagues, who defined that the brand new knowledge have been meant for use to replace a preprint research from 2022. China’s CDC plans to re-submit the paper to the scientific journal Nature for publication, based on the assertion.

WHO officers say such data, whereas not conclusive, represents a brand new lead into the investigation of COVID’s origins and may have been shared instantly.

“These knowledge don’t present a definitive reply to the query of how the pandemic started, however each piece of information is necessary in transferring us nearer to that reply,” WHO Director-Normal Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus stated on Friday. “These knowledge might have – and may have – been shared three years in the past.”

“We proceed to name on China to be clear in sharing knowledge, and to conduct the mandatory investigations and share the outcomes,” he stated.

SAGO was tasked by the WHO to proceed to research the origins of the pandemic that has killed almost 7 million individuals worldwide.

The Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market in Wuhan was shut down by Chinese language authorities after the novel coronavirus emerged within the metropolis in late 2019. The market has since been a spotlight of research of whether or not the virus had contaminated a number of different species earlier than leaping to people.

The WHO and different scientists have additionally stated they can not rule out the chance that the virus emerged from a high-security laboratory in Wuhan that research harmful pathogens. China denies any such hyperlink.

The 2022 preprint paper stated {that a} small portion of 923 samples collected from the stalls and sewage programs in and across the market examined optimistic for the virus; no virus was detected in 457 animal samples examined. The paper stated initially that raccoon canines weren’t among the many animals examined.

The brand new evaluation suggests “that raccoon canine and different animals might have been current earlier than the market was cleaned as a part of the general public well being intervention,” the SAGO assertion stated.

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