“It’s highly speculative to say that Covid-19 did not emerge in China”: WHO

The Chinese state media is pushing a narrative that the Covid-19 virus existed abroad before it was discovered in the central city of Wuhan.

The media cites the presence of coronavirus on imported frozen food packaging and scientific papers claiming it had been circulating in Europe last year.

Speaking about the it on Friday the World Health Organization’s top emergency expert, Mike Ryan said it would be “highly speculative” for the WHO to say the coronavirus did not emerge in China, where it was first identified in a food market in December last year.

“It is clear from a public health perspective that you start your investigations where the human cases first emerged,” he added, saying that evidence might then lead to other places.

He repeated that the WHO intended to send researchers to the Wuhan food market to probe the virus origins further.

The WHO has been accused by the Trump administration of being “China-centric”, allegations it has repeatedly denied.