Speaking during his latest media briefing, Tedros said the world is in a much better position now than at any other time as the pandemic enters its fourth year.
For the first time, the weekly number of reported deaths in the past four weeks has been lower than when the pandemic was first declared.
“I believe that this year we will be able to say COVID-19 is over as a public health emergency of international concern,” he said Said,
Origin is a mystery
“Even though we are becoming increasingly optimistic about the end of the pandemic, The question of how it started is unanswered,” He added.
Last Sunday, the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention uploaded data on GISAID, a global virus database, related to samples taken in January 2020 from the Huanan market.
The seafood market is located in Wuhan, the city where SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, first emerged.
Scientists in several countries downloaded and analyzed the data, which was later taken down. They have reportedly found molecular evidence that animals that were sold at the market, some of which, including raccoon dogs, were susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection.
no definite answer
Tedros said WHO contacted the Chinese CDC and urged them to share the data with the UN agency and the international scientific community.
The WHO on Tuesday convened a meeting of its Scientific Advisory Group on the Origin of Novel Pathogens (SAGO). Researchers from the Chinese CDC and international scientists were asked to present their analyses.
“These data do not definitively answer the question of how the pandemic started, but Every piece of data is important in getting us closer to that answer.Tedros said.
He stressed that all data related to the study of the origin of COVID-19 needs to be shared with the international community immediately.
appeal to china
“These data could have been – and should have been – shared three years ago,” he said.
“We continue to call on China Be transparent in sharing dataand cdo the necessary investigation And share result, Understanding how the pandemic started remains both a moral and scientific imperative,” He added.
Dr. Maria van Kerkhove, WHO’s head on COVID-19, said the agency was already aware of environmental samples from the market that had tested positive, and the latest results offer a “deeper dive” into the information. Are.
“What it does is provide clues … to help us understand what might have happened,” she said. “One of the big pieces of information that we don’t have at the present time[is]where these animals came from.”
She said the WHO has repeatedly called for studies in Wuhan and other markets across China to conduct serology on animals brought back to their source farms, as well as on people working in the markets or farms.
In the meantime, WHO is working with international partners to better understand how the pandemic started.
Dr. Van Kerkhove underlined the importance of sharing data so that international experts can conduct open and transparent analysis as well as discuss and debate.
“Right now, there are several hypotheses that need to be investigated, including how the virus entered the human population: either from a bat, through an intermediate host, or through release, biosecurity or biosecurity from a laboratory Violation in. And we don’t have a definite answer how the pandemic started,” she said.
Dr. Michael Ryan, WHO’s executive director of emergency programmes, used the analogy of solving a puzzle to explain the complexity of COVID-19 research and the need to have access to all available data.
“It’s another piece of the puzzle. It’s an important piece, but it doesn’t determine what the picture shows,” he said. “But what does it Let science do its job.,
Dr. van Kherkov was also asked why China removed the data from the virus platform, but said the question should really be addressed to the country’s CDC.
“What we understand is that this data was presented by the China CDC as part of their work in writing a publication; A publication that was submitted last year and held as a pre-print. That pre-print is available,” she said.
“Our understanding is that that paper has been updated and resubmitted. And in the resubmission, the China CDC provided more data on GISAID.”