The World Health Organization (WHO) has revealed plans to send a team of scientists to China to probe how the virus spread to humans and plunged the world into crisis.
An initial investigation by the UN health agency in 2021, which saw a group of scientists travel to Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak, concluded that Covid emerged naturally.
Beijing had allegedly refused to discuss the lab leak theory unless the final report stated no further investigation was needed and withheld key data and samples.
Now, WHO director-general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has written to Beijing asking for ‘full access’ and that it was ready to send investigators.
We’re pressing China to give full access,’ he told the Financial Times.
‘We have already asked in writing to give us information…and also [are] willing to send a team if they allow us to do so.’
The WHO held an initial probe into Covid’s origins in 2021 but this highly criticised and was marked by a lack of cooperation from Xi Jinping’s Government.
Dr. Ghebreyesus’s comments also mark a further willingness from the WHO to criticise China over its lack of transparency on Covid.
Nearly four years on from when cases of the virus first emerged in Wuhan, scientists are no closer to uncovering its origin.
Scientists claim it is vital to understand how the Covid pandemic began to prevent future outbreaks.
Top virologists backing the natural origins theory believe the virus originated in bats and infected an intermediary species possibly a pangolin before then infecting humans.
Studies point to Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market in Wuhan as being the epicentre of the outbreak. Many of the earliest cases in December 2019 and January 2020 had visited the site, where live animals were sold.