May 19, 2022

G7 leaders call for ‘timely’ and ‘transparent’ probe into COVID-19 origins – National

The G7 leaders have endorsed calls for a “timely, transparent, expert-led, and science-based” further investigation into the origins of COVID-19.

In a joint statement released Sunday, the leaders of seven of the richest nations called for “strengthening transparency and accountability, including reiterating our commitment to the full implementation of, and improved compliance with, the International Health Regulations 2005.”

Read more:
The U.S. is investigating the origins of COVID-19. Here’s what’s known about the probe

“This includes investigating, reporting and responding to outbreaks of unknown origin. We also call for a timely, transparent, expert-led, and science-based WHO-convened Phase 2 COVID-19 Origins study including, as recommended by the experts’ report, in China,” the statement said.


Click to play video: 'Trudeau says Canada supports U.S. investigation into the origins of COVID-19'







Trudeau says Canada supports U.S. investigation into the origins of COVID-19


Trudeau says Canada supports U.S. investigation into the origins of COVID-19 – May 27, 2021

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson too said that Britain wants further investigation into the origins of the coronavirus pandemic, but that at the moment the country doesn’t believe it came from a lab.

Story continues below advertisement

Speaking at the end of the Group of Seven summit in southwest England, Johnson said that while it doesn’t look as if this particular disease came from a lab, the world needs to “keep an open mind.”

Read more:
G7 leaders agree on China, COVID-19 vaccines and taxing corporations at summit

Though the notion was once dismissed by most public health experts and government officials, the hypothesis that COVID-19 leaked accidentally from a Chinese lab is now under a new U.S. investigation ordered by President Joe Biden.

Many scientists, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, say they still believe the virus most likely occurred in nature and jumped from animals to humans. Virus researchers have not publicly identified any key new scientific evidence that might make the lab-leak hypothesis more likely.

Virologists also say it is unlikely that any definitive answer about virus origins will be possible in 90 days. The work to fully confirm origins and pathways of past viruses — such as the first SARS or HIV/AIDS — has taken years or decades.

What do scientists believe about virus origins?

The most compelling argument for investigating the possibility of a lab leak is not any new hard evidence, but rather the fact that another pathway for virus spread has not been 100 per cent confirmed.

Story continues below advertisement

“The great probability is still that this virus came from a wildlife reservoir,” said Arinjay Banerjee, a virologist at the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization in Saskatchewan, Canada. He pointed to the fact that spillover events – when viruses jump from animals to humans – are common in nature, and that scientists already know of two similar beta coronaviruses that evolved in bats and caused epidemics when humans were infected, SARS1 and MERS.


Click to play video: 'China’s foreign ministry firmly denies Wuhan lab linked to COVID-19 outbreak'







China’s foreign ministry firmly denies Wuhan lab linked to COVID-19 outbreak


China’s foreign ministry firmly denies Wuhan lab linked to COVID-19 outbreak – Jun 4, 2021

However, the case is not completely closed. “There are probabilities, and there are possibilities,” said Banerjee. “Because nobody has identified a virus that’s 100 per cent identical to SARS-CoV-2 in any animal, there is still room for researchers to ask about other possibilities.”

How long does it take to confirm the origin of a virus?

Confirming with 100% certainty the origin of a virus is often not fast, easy, or always even possible.

Story continues below advertisement

For example, scientists never confirmed the origin of smallpox before the disease was eradicated through a global vaccination program.

In the case of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) – a disease caused by a beta coronavirus, like the current coronavirus – researchers first identified the virus in February 2003. Later that year, scientists discovered the likely intermediary hosts: Himalayan palm civets found at live-animal markets in Guangdong, China. But it wasn’t until 2017 that researchers traced the likely original source of the virus to bat caves in China’s Yunnan province.

How important is it to understand the origin?

From a scientific perspective, researchers are always keen to better understand how diseases evolve. From a public health perspective, if a virus has transitioned to being spread mostly by human-to-human contact, discovering its origins is not as essential to strategies for containing the disease.

“Questions of origins and questions of disease control are not the same thing once human-to-human transmission has become common,” said Deborah Seligsohn, an expert in environment and public health at Villanova University.

–With files from Global News’ Twinkle Ghosh 

View link »





© 2021 The Canadian Press

Related Posts

Key takeaways from the U.S. Senate’s report on the ‘absolutely brutal’ Capitol riot – National

June 8, 2021

June 8, 2021

A Senate report examining the security failures surrounding the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol says missed intelligence, poor...

Trump’s personal priorities leaving Republican agenda in limbo, party members say – National

June 6, 2021

June 6, 2021

Republicans are fighting to seize control of Congress. Just don’t ask what they’d do if they win. Look no...

Canada a key player in U.S. COVID-19 economic recovery, Ng tells free trade meeting – National

May 18, 2021

May 18, 2021

Canada needs to be a central player in American efforts to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, Mary Ng said...

Kamloops discovery prompts call for formal framework to investigate mass graves

May 29, 2021

May 29, 2021

The discovery of a mass grave at a former Kamloops residential school highlights the need for a formal, legal...

École élémentaire publique Julie-Payette in Ottawa to be renamed

June 24, 2021

June 24, 2021

An elementary school in Kanata named for Julie Payette will be renamed, Ottawa’s French public school board decided at...

‘Slim’ Jong Un? Kim’s weight loss raises questions in North Korea and abroad – National

June 28, 2021

June 28, 2021

Is Kim Jong Un sick, is he pretending to be hungry or is North Korea‘s dictator feeling a bit...

ANALYSIS: Diab case exposes dangerous flaws in Canada’s extradition process

May 20, 2021

May 20, 2021

In 2008, French prosecutors asked a Canadian court to extradite Hassan Diab, a Canadian then teaching sociology at Carleton...

Navy head keeping job, must ‘redeem himself’ after golfing with Vance: military head – National

June 29, 2021

June 29, 2021

Vice-Adm. Craig Baines, head of the Royal Canadian Navy, can keep his job despite a widely condemned decision to...

Fewer Canadian women appear to be travelling to U.S. for abortions during COVID-19 – National

May 20, 2021

May 20, 2021

The number of Canadian women going south of the border to receive medically necessary abortions has dropped during the...

Sweeping legal changes needed to address military sexual misconduct: committee – National

June 17, 2021

June 17, 2021

The federal government must make sweeping changes to the legal foundations of the military — including banning the practice...

Canada knew of PPE supply issues ‘over a decade’ before COVID-19 but was still unprepared: AG – National

May 26, 2021

May 26, 2021

For more than 10 years before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Canadian public health officials knew there were problems with...

Conservative MP Tim Uppal sorry for role in ‘divisiveness’ of Harper-era policies

June 14, 2021

June 14, 2021

A former Conservative cabinet minister is apologizing for not pushing against his party’s culturally divisive policies of the Stephen...

B.C. port communities could be impacted by U.S. cruise law, harbour authority warns

May 21, 2021

May 21, 2021

VANCOUVER – When the U.S. House of Representatives swiftly passed legislation amending a historical law that some say could...

Deadly Canadian Forces helicopter crash linked with software glitch: report – National

June 28, 2021

June 28, 2021

By Staff The Canadian Press Posted June 28, 2021 12:14 pm Smaller font Descrease...

Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou loses publication ban bid on evidence at extradition hearing

June 25, 2021

June 25, 2021

By Staff The Canadian Press Posted June 24, 2021 10:03 pm Smaller font Descrease...