(31 Mar 2021) Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), has called for further studies into the source of the ongoing global COVID19 pandemic.
Dr. Tedros’ comments come after the report of the international team on their Wuhan field visit, from 14 January to 10 February, was published on Tuesday.
The report stems from a Member State resolution adopted by consensus at the World Health Assembly in May 2020 and calling on WHO “to identify the zoonotic source of the virus and the route of introduction to the human population, including the possible role of intermediate hosts, including through efforts such as scientific and collaborative field missions”.
In remarks to Member States, Dr. Tedros, who received the full report over the weekend, thanked the team for their tireless work. He said it advances our understanding in important ways, while raising questions that will need to be addressed by further studies, as noted in the report.
“As far as WHO is concerned, all hypotheses remain on the table. This report is a very important beginning, but it is not the end. We have not yet found the source of the virus, and we must continue to follow the science and leave no stone unturned as we do,” said Dr. Tedros. “Finding the origin of a virus takes time and we owe it to the world to find the source so we can collectively take steps to reduce the risk of this happening again. No single research trip can provide all the answers.”
The full 120-page report can be downloaded in .pdf format here.