TUESDAY, Feb. 9, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- It is unlikely that the new coronavirus leaked from a Chinese lab, a World Health Organization expert said Tuesday.
Instead, the virus most probably jumped to humans through an intermediary species, Peter Ben Embarek, a food safety and animal diseases expert, said Tuesday, the Associated Press reported. He was summing up a WHO team's investigation into the possible origins of the new coronavirus in the city of Wuhan, where the first cases were identified in December 2019.
There have been unproven allegations that the virus may have escaped from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, something strongly denied by China, the AP reported.
Along with the institute, the WHO team visited hospitals, research institutes, a market tied to the outbreak, and other sites. The visit by the WHO team took months to negotiate after China only agreed to it amid massive international pressure at the World Health Assembly meeting last May.