Origin of COVID-19: India calls for expert-led mechanism for investigation
New Delhi: India on Thursday said it shares the need for a comprehensive and expert-led mechanism to expeditiously investigate the origin of the coronavirus, days after the World Health Organization (WHO) came out with a report on it.
WHO officials said data was withheld from its investigators, who travelled to China to study the origin of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.
“We share the need for a comprehensive and expert-led mechanism that would expeditiously investigate the origin of COVID-19 in cooperation with all stakeholders,” Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said.
He was replying to media queries on the issue.
Bagchi said the WHO report represents an important first step in establishing the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It has listed four pathways concerning the emergence of the disease but has stressed the need for next-phase studies across the region. The report also stresses the need for further data and studies to reach robust conclusions,” he said.
The MEA spokesperson also mentioned the WHO director general’s comments on delays and difficulties in accessing raw data by the team conducting the study.
“It is pertinent to note that the director general of the WHO has separately raised the issue of delays and difficulties in accessing raw data for the team conducting the study,” he said.
“We fully support the director general’s expectation that future collaborative studies will include more timely and comprehensive data-sharing. In this connection, we also welcome his readiness to deploy additional missions,” Bagchi added.