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India backs calls for study on coronavirus origins

Last updated on: May 28, 2021 15:18 IST

India on Friday supported renewed global calls for a comprehensive investigation by the World Health Organisation into the origins of COVID-19, days after United States President Joe Biden asked American intelligence agencies to find out how coronavirus emerged in China.

IMAGE: Artists paint on the road to create awareness on coronavirus during COVID-induced lockdown in Ranchi. Photograph: PTI Photo

There were growing demands by a sizeable number of countries including the US and Australia to investigate whether the virus originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan in late 2019 from an animal source or from a laboratory accident in December 2019

In March, the WHO came out with a report on the origins of the virus but it had failed to meet the expectations of the US and several other leading countries.

External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said the follow up of the WHO report and further studies deserve the understanding and cooperation of all.

 

"The WHO convened global study on the origin of COVID-19 is an important first step. It stressed the need for next phase studies as also for further data and studies to reach robust conclusions," he said.

Bagchi was responding to media queries on the issue.

"The follow up of the WHO report and further studies deserve the understanding and cooperation of all," he said.

During the probe by the WHO earlier this year, the US and several other countries expressed concerns over Chinese authorities not providing complete data to the WHO team probing the origin of the virus.

President Biden had on Wednesday ordered the US intelligence agencies to "redouble" their efforts in investigating the emergence of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic and report back to him in 90 days.

"I have now asked the intelligence community to redouble their efforts to collect and analyse information that could bring us closer to a definitive conclusion, and to report back to me in 90 days," Biden had said.

"As part of that report, I have asked for areas of further inquiry that may be required, including specific questions for China. I have also asked that this effort include work by our national labs and other agencies of our government to augment the intelligence community's efforts," the US president had said.

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