Data withheld in Wuhan: Denmark and Norway amongst 14 concerned nations

Denmark and Norway along with 12 other countries have in a joint statement expressed concern that the WHO-led team of researchers behind a report on the origin of covid-19 did not have access to all relevant data in Wuhan in China.

According to Danish media, NordJyske, the statement was posted on the State Department’s Web site and in addition to Denmark and Norway, the United States, Australia, Canada, Estonia, Israel, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, South Korea, Slovenia, the United Kingdom, and the Czech Republic have signed the declaration.

According to the statement, the nations state, “We must express our common concern that the international expert study on the origin of the coronavirus was significantly delayed and lacked access to adequate, original data and samples. On scientific missions like this, researchers should have the opportunity to work under conditions that lead to independent and objective recommendations and conclusions.”

Jeppe Kofod, Danish Foreign Minister confirms the declaration and the 14 countries’ common concern via Twitter.

The group of researchers visited Wuhan, China, in January on behalf of the World Health Organization WHO to investigate how covid-19 originated and spread to humans. At a press conference on Tuesday afternoon, the results were announced. During the announcement, the Director-General of WHO stated that information had been withheld during the researchers’ visit to Wuhan.

Reuters reports that at the press conference, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus WHO chief said, “In my conversations with the group, they expressed that it was difficult for them to access raw data.” and for that reason, the first mission should be followed up by several studies.

The experts’ studies indicate that the coronavirus probably originated from a particular bat. Via another animal, it is believed to have been transmitted to humans. In general, however, it is limited what can be definitively concluded based on the mission in China.

During the pandemic, speculation as to whether the coronavirus was leaked from a laboratory in Wuhan has been made but the researchers have concluded that this scenario is very unlikely, without being able to completely dismiss it, however.

About Mette Larsen

ScandAsia Journalist • Scandinavian Publishing Co., Ltd. • Thailand

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