The expert team has found no evidence to back up the theory that the Covid-19 pandemic was caused by a laboratory accident in Wuhan, China. At the same time, it has not identified any animal source of the virus either.
The expert team with the World Health Organization (WHO) held a press conference on Tuesday to present their findings to the public. The team spent four weeks in Wuhan, the city that was first to report the outbreak of the new disease in December 2019.
The team identified and looked into the four main hypothesis of how the coronavirus was introduced to the human population, WHO food safety and animal diseases expert Peter Ben Embarek said.
We identified four main hypotheses or groups of hypotheses on how the virus could have been introduced in the human population: direct zoonotic spillover; introduction through intermediary host species; food chain, frozen food products, surface transmission; and finally a laboratory-related incident.
While the rumored incident at Wuhan’s secretive lab sprouted conspiracy theories shortly after the pandemic began, the latter hypothesis proved to be the least realistic.
“The findings suggest that a laboratory incident hypothesis is extremely unlikely to explain the introduction of the virus into the human population,” Ben Embarek stated.
The most realistic theories revolve around the virus jumping from animals to humans, directly or indirectly. While various coronaviruses have been circulating among various animals, such as bats and pangolins, neither of them resembles Covid-19 enough.