The World Health Organization is creating a new group of experts who will continue to study the origin of COVID-19 and urges not to politicize this process, the WHO said in a statement issued on Thursday.
“Based on what has already become known, the next series of studies will include a further study of the data of primary cases and potentially early cases of infections in 2019. Access to data is critical to the development of our understanding of science and should not be politicized in any way,” the statement says.
WHO is creating an International Scientific Advisory Group on the Origin of New Pathogens, or SAGA, which will be responsible for developing a global framework for systematically studying the emergence of future new pathogens with pandemic potential. As noted about SARS-CoV-2, the new group will contribute to the rapid implementation of the recommended studies outlined in the report on the origin of the virus, published in March 2021.
WHO hopes to continue previous missions to China to study the origin of SARS-CoV-2. In particular, to collect enough data from refuting the hypothesis of a possible virus leak from a laboratory in Wuhan.
“When reviewing the report on the first phase of research, WHO determined that, there is not enough scientific data to refute any hypothesis. In particular, to consider the “laboratory hypothesis,” it is important to have access to all data, take into account best scientific practices and study the mechanisms already existing in WHO,” the document emphasizes.
The WHO emphasizes that they are aimed only at science, finding solutions, and strengthening solidarity, without politicizing data on the origin of the virus.