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WHO rejects report suggesting Covid virus originated in Thailand


The World Health Organisation (WHO) has dismissed a report that a WHO team member suggested Thailand could be the origin of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The WHO was referring to a report on Monday by Denmark’s Politiken newspaper, which quoted Danish epidemiologist Thea Kolsen Fischer as saying Southeast Asia could be the origin of the Sars-Cov-2 virus, not Wuhan in China. The report named Chatuchak market in Bangkok as the possible origin of the pandemic.

Prof Fischer, who was on the WHO Covid-19 fact-finding mission to China last month, said she was misquoted by the paper and had only spoken of horseshoe bats as the possible source of SARS viruses.

“One expert member of this [China fact-finding] group was recently misquoted as suggesting that the origin of the virus was Thailand,” the WHO said in a statement on Wednesday. “There is no current evidence to suggest this. The article with the misquote has since been corrected.”

The WHO statement added that its team recently concluded its mission to China and is working on its report. However, the report would “not provide a conclusion on the virus origins, as much more work remains to be done to reach such a conclusion”.

The UN world health agency said past experience showed that the search for the origin of the virus may take months or even longer.

Published : February 25, 2021

By : The Nation