The team at the World Health Organisation (WHO) investigating the origins of Covid-19 say they’re not ruling out the possibility that the deadly virus had escaped from a lab.

The experts have already revealed that they’re getting data ‘which no one has seen before’ adding that they are ‘really getting somewhere’.

Marion Koopmans of a World Health Organization team arrives at the Hubei Center for Disease Control and Prevention in Wuhan. Credit: PA
Marion Koopmans of a World Health Organization team arrives at the Hubei Center for Disease Control and Prevention in Wuhan. Credit: PA

Speaking to Sky News, Dr Peter Daszak, part of the ongoing WHO mission, said: “We are seeing new information and it’s good, it’s very valuable stuff that is beginning to help us look at the right directions for this virus.”

He then explained how the team are getting valuable information from places such as the Huanan seafood market after tests confirmed that the outbreak did start there.

Peter Daszak, left, clasps hands with Peter Ben Embarek. Credit: PA
Peter Daszak, left, clasps hands with Peter Ben Embarek. Credit: PA

Dr Daszak went on: “We are in the market looking around on our own and asking questions, we are meeting with market managers, with vendors who worked there and people from the community and asking them questions.

“We are talking to people who collected samples from the floor of the market that then tested positive. That’s the sort of information we are getting with the person that really matters.”

As the experts conduct the research, Dr Daszak explained that they’re picking up ‘little clues’ in the ‘wealth of data’.

He continued: “[Chinese scientists] are sharing data with us that we have not seen before – that no one has seen before.

“They are talking with us openly about every possible pathway. We really are getting somewhere and I think every member of the team would say that. I think China is open and willing to work with us and we are seeing that every day.”

Dr Daszak also said that they weren’t ruling out the possibility that Covid-19 emerged as a result of a leak from a lab.

He said: “We’re all aware of the hypotheses around the potential involvement of the lab in this and we’re certainly going to ask questions about all of the key aspects of the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

“If there are data that point towards any hypothesis, we’ll follow the data, we’ll follow the evidence where it leads us. If it leads us to a seafood market and a cold chain, we’ll follow it there.”

He added: “Everything’s on the table and we’re keeping an open mind.”

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