Geneva: it was premature to rule out the leak from Wuhan lab as the pandemic’s origin, World Health Organisation (WHO) Director-General Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus claimed. At the time, Dr Ghebreyesus also urged China to be more transparent, open and cooperate in providing the raw data from the early days of the pandemic to the WHO. The WHO and Dr Ghebreyesus had earlier rejected the Wuhan lab leak theory entirely. So, the WHO chief’s recent remarks on the subject are striking.
China’s role in the entire case has been suspicious since the outbreak of the coronavirus in 2019. Also, China has been consistently suppressing information on the matter to avoid allegations against it. It even made empty counter-claims that the pandemic originated from other countries. The Chinese researchers who spoke out on the coronavirus were silenced while many journalists were made to disappear mysteriously.
In the wake of China’s attempts to do so, the United States, the UK, European nations and major nations of the world had accused Beijing of being responsible for the outbreak. Former US President Donald Trump had explicitly blamed China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology for the pandemic’s origin. Many senior US leaders, officials, and researchers had followed suit, pointing the finger at the Wuhan lab. In addition, a researcher who fled from China had declared of having evidence on the matter. After that, President Joe Biden ordered an inquiry on the Wuhan lab leak, asking to present a report on the subject.
The Wuhan lab leak theory has taken centre stage internationally. Several nations, along with the United States and European countries, have begun upholding the Wuhan lab leak theory with diverse information now surfacing on it. In just the past few days, reports have been published by US laboratories and also UK researchers, where the information corroborates claims on the coronavirus being manufactured in the Wuhan lab. The u-turn taken by the WHO in the light of the events assumes much significance.
A WHO report published a few months ago refutes the link between the Wuhan lab and the pandemic’s origins. The WHO chief Dr Ghebreyesus had confirmed the information. He was seen siding with China consistently even before the report. Nevertheless, it appears the WHO chief has been forced to demand information from China in support of the Wuhan lab leak theory in the face of tremendous pressure from the international community. China, therefore, could fall into deep trouble.