The World Health Organization (WHO) has stopped the second phase of the investigation into the origin of the coronavirus due to problems with data collection in China. This was reported by the organization's representative, Maria van Kerckhove, in a conversation with Nature magazine.
Van Kerkhove noted that the head of the WHO, Tedros Ghebreyesus, is continuing contacts with Chinese officials to convince the PRC to share data about the virus. The organization's staff also contacted the Chinese Center for Disease Control to establish cooperation.
At the same time, Nature writes that it took a long time to collect the necessary data about the source of COVID-19. At the same time, scientists have enough information to prevent possible outbreaks in the future.
The first case of COVID-19 was detected in the Chinese city of Wuhan at the end of 2019, after which it spread to other countries. On March 11, 2020, the WHO declared a coronavirus pandemic.
After a visit to the Wuhan Institute of Virology in 2021, the WHO said it was "extremely unlikely" that the laboratory leaked COVID-19. Scientists concluded that the disease was probably transmitted to humans from bats. After serious criticism, in particular from colleagues, the head of the WHO admitted that it is premature to rule out a laboratory leak.
China has repeatedly called speculation about the spread of COVID-19 from a Chinese laboratory as "unfounded" and claimed that the virus originated in the United States, which also conducted research on coronaviruses.
Almost 700 million people in the world have been diagnosed with COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic. The death toll is approaching seven million.