After rumours of the report being scrapped and demands of a new investigation from scientists globally, the World Health Organisation (WHO) released the much awaited joint report on Covid-19 with China. Let’s see what everyone has to say about that.
Crux of the Matter
What Did The Report Say?
It said that the SARS-CoV-2 virus which causes Covid-19 most probably jumped from bats to humans via an intermediary animal. Also, it was “extremely unlikely” that the virus had been leaked from a laboratory.
What Does India Say?
External affairs ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi welcomed WHO’s readiness and said, “We share the need for a comprehensive and expert-led mechanism that would expeditiously investigate the origin of Covid-19 in cooperation with all stakeholders“.
What’s More From The WHO Chief?
WHO director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has added that this report requires further investigation, with additional missions involving specialist experts, which he is ready to deploy.
What About China?
Tedros has been long accused to have a soft spot for China. Now he has urged China to be more forthcoming with data from September 2019, months before the first detected COVID-19 case in Wuhan – December 8, 2019.
In response, China called for WHO to probe whether Covid-19 first emerged in other countries, including from a U.S. military lab. China called for WHO to probe whether Covid-19 first emerged in other countries, including from a U.S. military lab.
Global response to report
The US, Japan, Canada, South Korea, Australia, Israel and 8 European countries issued a joint statement voicing concerns that the investigation “was significantly delayed and lacked access to complete, original data and samples”.
Heard About Zoonotic Diseases?
The illnesses that can spread between animals and people are called zoonoses or zoonotic diseases. Animals are thus capable of hosting microbes harmful to humans. Mostly, the first infected human transmits infectious agent to at least one other human, and the vicious cycle of spreading infection begins.
Why Does This Happen?
Animals who are able to thrive in human-occupied areas are small like rats and mobile like bats. They have the capacity to reproduce quickly in large numbers. This rapid reproduction causes the phenomenon of “quantity over quality” which can come at the expense of an animal’s immune system. This in turn makes them more prone to zoonotic diseases.
- Through religious scripture, different civilizations as early as 500 years B.C.E had dietary laws that prohibit or allow the consumption of certain animals. Christian and Hebrew religions have reflected these traditions in the Book of Leviticus, while Islamic religions spread the laws throughout the Quran, referring to these rules as Haram and Halal.