The World Health Organization (WHO) was unable to identify the source of the coronavirus in animals. This was stated by the experts of the organization during a press conference in Wuhan.
Liang Wannan, an expert from the National Health Commission of the People's Republic of China, said that during the research, viruses related to SARS-CoV-2 were found among bats and pangolins, but the difference between the obtained samples and SARS-CoV-2 was too great to suggest that these animals were the original source of the virus. Liang added that the expert group found no evidence of major COVID-19 outbreaks in Wuhan until December 2019
Peter Ben Embarek, WHO zoonotic diseases specialist and head of the expert group, said it was not possible to figure out the circumstances of the virus entering the market in Wuhan due to lack of data. At the same time, experts found that the virus circulated widely outside the market. Embarek noted that an investigation by WHO experts in Wuhan revealed new information, but did not fundamentally change the picture of the COVID-19 outbreak.
An outbreak of pneumonia COVID-19 caused by a novel coronavirus was first recorded in December 2019 in Wuhan. Initially, it was believed that the source of the new infection was the seafood market. At the same time, the WHO stated that it did not have verified information that this market was indeed the source of the coronavirus. Reports also began to emerge that the infection began to spread from the laboratory of the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
China has been accused of hiding the outbreak, trying to silence doctors who tried to raise the alarm, and belatedly informing the world about what happened. Beijing was also blamed for obstructing an external investigation into the origin of the virus.