GENEVA – The World Health Organization (WHO) settled on Monday the versions that indicate that the coronavirus causing COVID-19 originated in a laboratory in China by confirming that this pathogen “is of animal origin”, contrary to what it claims for days the United States Government.
“The coronavirus circulates ancestrally among bats, it is something that we know based on the genetic sequence of this virus. What we need to understand is which animal has acted as an intermediary, that is, it was infected by bats and transmitted it the human, “said the head of the WHO Department of Emerging Diseases, María Van Kerkhove.
The President of the United States, Donald Trump, has publicly said that the SARS CoV-2 coronavirus originated in a laboratory in Wuhan (site of the first epidemic outbreak), which this Sunday reaffirmed his Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, who added that the government has “a tremendous amount of evidence” of this.
“Of all the evidence we have seen of all the genetic sequences that are available, and I think there are more than 15,000, this virus has a natural origin,” Van Kerkhove said in a virtual press conference.
WHO Executive Director for Health Emergencies, Mike Ryan, stressed that the United States has not shared with the organization the evidence it claims to have.
“From our perspective this is speculative and like any evidence-based organization, we would very much like to receive any information regarding the origin of the virus,” he added.
The doctor insisted that as long as the United States does not share this supposed information, “we focus on what we know, on the evidence we have and that indicates that the virus is of animal origin.”
The 26-second video uses a scene from the movie “Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith.”
In another excerpt from the press conference, senior officials in the fight to contain the pandemic said that WHO has made available a guide for governments to assess the risks posed by mass meetings now that several countries, especially in Europe, gradually begin to lower social quarantine measures.
Van Kerkhove argued that in order to make an official decision in this regard, several criteria will have to be considered, such as the number of people who will meet, the planned location, and assess whether the meeting cannot be held virtually or postponed.
A general decision is discouraged, but rather reflect on the risks on a case-by-case basis and depending on whether or not the virus is circulating in the area.
“We can’t tell each country what to do in each context, but if there are meetings you have to consider whether you can keep the distance between people and the hygiene measures that will be available,” Ryan added.
Jazive Pérez has the information.
At a time when coronavirus cases have exceeded 3.4 million worldwide, rapid diagnostic tests have come to many countries through commercial channels to be sold in pharmacies freely and so that people can make the diagnosis themselves in their houses.
On the reliability of those tests and the danger of false negatives, Van Kerkhove said that there are “hundreds” of types of tests for coronavirus that are being sold around the world and that obviously “there are risks associated with tests that are sold in every corner. “
He stressed that “the most important thing is that it has been proven that the tests that are sold really work well”, a guarantee that can only be given by the validation of the health authorities.
“You have to make sure that the result is true, since the risk is that there are false positives or, worse, false negatives, which means that one can be infected (and therefore infect others) despite the fact that the test says that it isn’t, “he said.