The World Health Organization has completed groundwork in China for its probe into the origins of the coronavirus — as the agency’s chief warned Monday there may never be a “silver bullet” to the deadly disease.
The WHO sent two experts — an animal health expert and an epidemiologist — to the country early last month to investigate how the virus jumped from animal to human.
A larger, WHO-led team, made up of Chinese and international experts, will now begin studying the origins of the virus in Wuhan, where it was originally believed to have come from a wet market.
“Epidemiological studies will begin in Wuhan to identify the potential source of infection of the early cases,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a virtual press conference Monday.
Tedros touted the race to develop a COVID-19 vaccine as “unprecedented” — but warned that the virus may be around forever.
“A number of vaccines are now in phase three clinical trials and we all hope to have a number of effective vaccines that can help prevent people from infection,” he said. “However, there’s no silver bullet at the moment — and there might never be.”
Speaking at the news briefing from the WHO’s headquarters in Geneva, Tedros urged people across the globe to continue to wear face masks, practice social distancing and wash their hands.
“The message to people and governments is clear: ‘Do it all,’” he said.
More than 18 million cases of coronavirus have been confirmed across the globe, with 689,625 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
With Post wires