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Officials deny claims China’s response was insufficiently transparent, claiming lab leak is “extremely unlikely.”
China has rejected a World Health Organization (WHO) proposal that the expert team investigating the origins of COVID-19 should return to the sites in China where the coronavirus first emerged, saying researchers should instead make a priority of the “highly probable” possibility that the virus originated in animals and are expanding their work to other countries around the world.
Speaking at a press conference at the State Information Council, Zeng Yixin, the vice minister of China’s National Health Commission, said he was “surprised” that the WHO had suggested the team return to places in Wuhan they visited earlier this year.
Zeng said such a move was “not scientific.”
Yuan Zhiming of the Wuhan National Biosafety Laboratory, also rejected claims that the virus may have escaped from one of two research labs in the central Chinese city.
“The general consensus of the academic community is that the coronavirus was generated naturally,” he said.
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