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COVID-19 Origin: India Breaks Silence On WHO's Global Study, Seeks 'robust Conclusions'

Weighing in on the WHO-convened global study to trace the origin of COVID-19, India on Friday advocated next phase studies to reach "robust conclusions". 

Image: AP/PTI

Weighing in on the WHO-convened global study to trace the origin of COVID-19, India on Friday advocated next phase studies to reach "robust conclusions". An international team comprising 17 Chinese and 17 international experts conducted a joint study in this regard from January 14-February 10, 2021 in Wuhan. With the Terms of Reference focusing on the introduction of the novel coronavirus virus in the city, the report issued on March 20 claimed that a leak from the Wuhan Institute of Virology was an "extremely unlikely" scenario. 

Describing it as an important first step, the Ministry of External Affairs stressed the need for more data and studies in this regard. In a statement, the MEA stated, "The WHO convened global study on the origin of Covid-19 is an important first step. It stressed the need for next phase studies as also for further data and studies to reach robust conclusions. The follow up of the WHO report and further studies deserve the understanding and cooperation of all". 

Interestingly, WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus raised concerns about data being withheld from the team and said that the lab leak theory required "further investigation". In a statement issued on May 26, US President Joe Biden stated that he had asked the Intelligence Community to collect information for a definitive conclusion regarding the COVID-19 origin and report back to him within 90 days. Moreover, he asserted that the US will keep working with like-minded partners around the world to press China to participate in a transparent and evidence-based international investigation besides providing access to all relevant data. 

The COVID-19 origin debate

Republic Media Network has been reporting exclusively from Wuhan with many experts from around the globe calling for a re-examination of the origin of the virus. Dr. Ravindra Gupta, a Professor of Clinical Microbiology at the University of Cambridge and one of the 18 scientists who wrote an open letter in Science magazine asking the world community to have a relook at the COVID-19 origin. American scholar and Chairman of Stockton Centre James Kraska also spoke to Republic & had elaborated on his research into the origins of the Coronavirus and extensive evidence documents on its birth in a laboratory in China. 

Significantly, bringing back the focus on the origin of the SARS-CoV-2 (hereafter also referred to as SARS2), which has caused the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic and claimed over 3 million lives across the globe, noted British science writer Nicholas Wade has self-published papers re-igniting the discourse on whether the deadly virus was developed in a lab or whether it was naturally transmitted into humans from bats, as claimed thus far. The present debate was also ignited by a military document titled 'The Unnatural Origin of SARS and New Species of Man-Made Viruses as Genetic Bioweapons'. It spoke about the Chinese military's plans with regards to bioweapons. 

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