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WHO team in Wuhan fails to identify source

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Members of the World Health Organisation (WHO) team tasked with investigating the origins of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic sit on a bus while leaving Wuhan Tianhe International Airport in Wuhan, Hubei province, China January 14, 2021. REUTERS/Thomas Peter TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY - RC2H7L9WN4UA

The WHO mission to China to uncover the origins of the coronavirus has failed to identify the animal source, scientists said Tuesday. Experts believe the disease — which has gone on to kill more than 2.3 million people worldwide — originated in bats and could have been transmitted to humans via another mammal.

The World Health Organisation’s Ben Embarek says recent Wuhan investigation has uncovered new information but has not dramatically changed the picture of the COVID-19 outbreak.


Embarek says team found evidence of wider circulation outside the Wuhan Huanan market in December 2019.

Embarek says team did not find evidence of large outbreaks that could be related to COVID-19 prior to December 2019 in Wuhan or anywhere else.