A group of consultants from the World Health Organization investigating the origins of the pandemic visited a analysis middle in Wuhan, China, on Wednesday that has been a spotlight of a number of unfounded theories in regards to the coronavirus.
The W.H.O. scientists met with workers members on the middle, the Wuhan Institute of Virology, which homes a state-of-the-art laboratory identified for its analysis on coronaviruses.
The institute got here below scrutiny final yr because the Trump administration promoted the unsubstantiated principle that the virus may need leaked from a government-run laboratory in China. But many senior American officers have mentioned in non-public that proof pointing to a lab accident is principally circumstantial.
Most scientists agree that the coronavirus almost definitely emerged within the pure world and unfold from animals to people. Peter Daszak, one of many consultants on the W.H.O. group, described the dialog on Wednesday on the Wuhan institute as candid. “Key questions requested & answered,” he wrote on Twitter, with out offering particulars.
One of the individuals the W.H.O. group met was Shi Zhengli, generally known as China’s “Bat Woman” for her research on coronaviruses present in bats. In June, Dr. Shi had expressed preliminary fears that the virus may have leaked from the lab, based on an interview with the Scientific American. Later, checks confirmed that not one of the gene sequences had matched the viruses that workers members have been learning.
Separately, China introduced on Wednesday that it might present 10 million Covid-19 vaccines to Covax, a worldwide physique established to advertise equitable entry to coronavirus inoculations.
The resolution is “one other necessary measure taken by China to advertise the honest distribution of vaccines,” mentioned Wang Wenbin, a Foreign Ministry spokesman.
He additionally mentioned that the World Health Organization had began reviewing the emergency authorization of vaccines. It was unclear which vaccines Mr. Wang was referring to. Two vaccines — manufactured by the Chinese firms Sinovac and Sinopharm — have been authorised to be used in China.