21:40 GMT04 March 2021
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - World Health Organization (WHO) experts who spent a month in the Chinese city of Wuhan investigating the origins of COVID-19 are keeping all hypotheses open, according to Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Friday.

    During a WHO press briefing, Tedros thanked the expert team for their efforts during the mission, which included visits to the Wuhan Institute of Virology and the Huanan Seafood Market.

    "I want to start by thanking all members of the international team for their work. This has been a very important scientific exercise in very difficult circumstances. The expert team is working on a summary report which we hope will be published next week, and the full final report will be published in the coming weeks," Tedros said.

    The director-general emphasized that the expert team has not ruled out any version of events, and would continue analyzing data collected during the trip.

    "Some questions have been raised as to whether some hypotheses have been discarded. Having spoken with some members of the team, I wish to confirm that all hypotheses remain open and require further analysis and studies," Tedros said.

    Dr. Peter Ben Embarek, the WHO's international team lead, told the press briefing that experts are still far from a position of confidently identifying the origins of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19.

    At a press conference in Wuhan earlier this week, Embarek suggested that it was "highly unlikely" that the virus was leaked from a lab in the Chinese city, as was suggested in 2020 by several prominent political appointees in the Trump administration.

     

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