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‘Politics has completely no place’ when researching COVID-19 origins: WHO chief scientist


Dr Swaminathan additionally defined why you will need to discover out if the novel coronavirus was transmitted from a wild animal to a human straight or whether or not it handed via an intermediate animal earlier than infecting people.

For instance, if the virus was a direct an infection from bats, then individuals who work together with such animals in the middle of their work must undertake particular precautionary measures.

But when the virus was transmitted via an intermediate animal that was in shut contact with people, people must change the way in which they cope with these animals, together with farming strategies and taking security measures similar to common screening for avian influenza or swine flu.

On Aug 20, the WHO issued an open name for candidates to affix its Scientific Advisory Group for the Origins of Novel Pathogen, saying that it was searching for the best scientific minds to advise on investigations into new high-threat pathogens that bounce from animals to people to assist forestall the following pandemic.

Dr Swaminathan stated the WHO is encouraging open scientific dialogue on the pandemic however that discovering who’s accountable might be not the appropriate query to ask.

“If this was a pure phenomenon, it might occur wherever. If it’s occurred in numerous components of the world previously, it might occur tomorrow and wherever. The subsequent pandemic may very well be upon us even earlier than we’re out of this one.”

Given the actual risk of recent pathogens rising, Dr Swaminathan emphasised the significance of infectious illness centres, however the danger of an unintentional lab leak. She defined that the scenario may very well be a lot worse with out these laboratories.

“You’d be blind. You’d be flying blind, you wouldn’t know what the virus was, the place it got here from, what its genetic sequence was. We wouldn’t have the ability to make vaccines and medicines. So no, I believe the reply is just not shut them down however to run them safely and responsibly.”

Watch the complete interview with Dr Soumya Swaminathan, the World Well being Group’s chief scientist on “In Dialog” Aug 25, 9pm SIN/HK on CNA.


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