The way to find the origin of Covid-19 is to really focus on the science and investigate all hypotheses, Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, the World Health Organization’s chief scientist, said on CNN International Wednesday.
“It’s a question of really focusing on the science because, you know, this is how we’ve got to the bottom of previous outbreaks and got to the origin,” Swaminathan said. “It’s through very systematic, detailed, scientific interrogation of all the hypotheses on the table, but then you need epidemiological studies, you need to look at data, you need to go back to stored blood samples and examine them. So, there’s a huge amount of work, and I hope that it can get going in the coming weeks.”
Swaminathan said that the WHO team who went to China earlier this year to investigate the origins of Covid-19 have a detailed report on their findings as well as a plan for the future.
“This was only phase one,” she said. “From the very beginning everyone knew that you are not going to get to the origins in that limited period of time. So there’s a scope of work, of phase two and potentially, you know future phases of work that need to be done looking at all the options that were on the table.”
Hypotheses around the origin of Covid-19 include an animal to human jump and that it was accidentally leaked from a lab, she said.
She said that there are a number of studies that have been planned and outlined in the report from the China team, and that WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has said he will support further investigation into all hypotheses and that nothing was off the table.