COVID-19 may have spread in Wuhan seafood market, but originated elsewhere: WHO expert
- "There is no evidence that the virus originated there" but "hypothetically, there are all conditions for the spread of the virus there."
- "The laboratory (the Wuhan Institute of Virology) is perfectly equipped." "It is hard for me to imagine that something could have leaked from there."
Wuhan's Huanan seafood market may have made it possible for the novel coronavirus to spread, but it does not mean the virus originated there, a Russian expert has said.
"There is no evidence that the virus originated there" but "hypothetically, there are all conditions for the spread of the virus there," Vladimir Dedkov, a member of the World Health Organization's (WHO) expert team, was quoted as saying by Sputnik on Thursday.
The seafood market was linked to an early cluster of COVID-19 cases, but scientists have yet to come to an unequivocal conclusion regarding the role it played in the contagion.
Two nurses communicate with each other at a hospital in Wuhan, capital of central China's Hubei Province, March 18, 2020. (Xinhua/Shen Bohan)
Dedkov also refuted the theory of a virus leakage while visiting the Wuhan Institute of Virology along with nine other WHO experts on Wednesday.
"Of course, it was important for our mission to visit this facility, talk to our colleagues and see how everything is organized there," the expert said.
"The laboratory is perfectly equipped," he said. "It is hard for me to imagine that something could have leaked from there."