Tech And Science

China asks WHO not to use Covid data for political purposes

China Covid Data
Source: Pixabay

After receiving harsh criticism from various nations for years for failing to share Covid data, China has encouraged the World Health Organization (WHO) not to be subject to or prepared to plunge into being a “instrument of politicisation” of certain countries, and to “return to science and justice.”

State-run According to the Global Times, utilising misleading and inadequate data to malign China on the origins of Covid-19 “would only erode the international body’s reputation and impede viral investigations.”

The WHO’s claim came after Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (China CDC) experts released a fresh Covid study on samples taken from Wuhan’s Huanan Seafood Market on April 5 in the science journal Nature.

Prior to the formal publishing of the report, the underlying data was provided on the Global Initiative for Sharing Avian Influenza Data (GISAID) website, but was subsequently purportedly erased, sparking considerable suspicion.

According to an epidemiologist close to China’s Covid-origin tracing task force, the next step of origins-tracing should focus on species that are more likely to carry coronaviruses, such as bats.

According to experts, no Covid antibodies were discovered in the blood of Wuhan donors prior to the epidemic in December 2019.

Zhou Lei, a China CDC researcher, stated at a press conference that as a Chinese scientist who participated in the China-WHO joint origins-tracing mission in 2021, she is shocked by WHO’s words.

“During the joint origins-tracing mission, Chinese scientists shared all data and information, including information of more than 76,000 early cases of possible and suspected COVID infections in Wuhan,” Zhou said.

“We conducted in-depth joint analysis and research, and the results were collectively approved by the WHO and Chinese experts at that time,” she was quoted as saying.

“I think if such a presumptuous accusation is made, it is the WHO’s credibility that risks being damaged,” she added.

The WHO chastised China this week, saying the government should have given virus samples from Wuhan, the pandemic’s epicentre, promptly rather than three years later.

According to Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO’s technical head for Covid-19 response, who published in the respected journal Science earlier this month, the global health body learnt earlier this month that scientists in China held data on viral samples collected in Wuhan in January 2020.

“These should have been shared immediately, not 3 years later. The lack of data disclosure is simply inexcusable,” she said.

The WHO continues to call on China and all countries to share any data on the origins of SARS-CoV-2 immediately.

China made Covid-19 disease official on December 31, 2019.

Last month, US President Joe Biden signed a bill to declassify intelligence information on the origins of the Covid pandemic, which has so far claimed more than seven million lives globally.