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This report was written by scientists from the U.S., Japan, Russia, the U.K., the Netherlands, Denmark, Australia, Vietnam, Germany, and Qatar.
World Health Organization (WHO) Director Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that the report of the mission that investigated in China the origin of COVID will be explained in detail on Tuesday. He did, however, advance that a "laboratory leak" is considered "extremely unlikely".
According to news agencies that had access to a draft of the findings, the report advocates that the most likely theory of the pandemic's origin is a transmission of the coronavirus from bats to humans via another animal.
These conclusions do not differ much from those presented by the WHO mission chief Peter Ben Embarek in Wuhan on February 9 at the end of the visit of an expert mission, which comprised scientists from the U.S., Japan, Russia, the U.K., the Netherlands, Denmark, Australia, Vietnam, Germany, and Qatar.
On Monday, China's Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian refuted U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken's accusations regarding the COVID-19 origin tracing report, and said that China will never accept groundless accusations and wanton slander on issues regarding the pandemic.
In a recent interview, Blinken expressed "concern" over the upcoming WHO report and claimed that China was helping to write it.
Zhao said the WHO-China joint expert team visited nine locations including the Wuhan Institute of Virology, and conducted panel discussions with medical staff, scientific researchers, recovered patients, family members of medical staff who died from COVID-19, and ordinary people. All arrangements were made at the request of the WHO experts.
"When will the U.S. invite WHO experts to their country for origin tracing? When will Fort Detrick be opened to international experts to conduct investigations and research? Does the U.S. intend to put pressure on WHO experts by continuously shouting at the outside world?" asked Zhao.
"The U.S. should ask the WHO experts which part of the report was written with the help of the Chinese government. Does the convenience provided by the Chinese government during the investigation equal behind-the-scenes manipulation?" he added.