World Health Organization investigators downplayed Chinese theory that coronavirus was brought to Wuhan via frozen foods, highlighting the charged geopolitics surrounding the roots of Covid-19.
Vladimir Dedkov of the Institut Pasteur in St. Petersburg, Russia, and Fabian Leendertz, an emerging disease specialist at the German Robert Koch Institute, both told the Financial Times that it was extremely unlikely that the first cases of Sars -Cov-2 identified in Wuhan in 2019 entered the city with frozen or chilled products.
The two were part of the WHO team that traveled to Wuhan in January to investigate the origins of the pandemic. But at the press conference that concluded the visit last month, the WHO did not rule out the theory, which was heavily pushed by the Chinese government and state media.
“We know that the virus can persist and survive in conditions that are found in these cold, frozen environments, but we don’t really know if the virus can then be transmitted to humans,” said Peter Ben Embarek, head of investigation. at the time.
Back home in Russia, Dedkov was more definitive. He said frozen food samples from the Huanan Seafood Market in Wuhan, which had tested positive for Sars-Cov-2, were likely contaminated with humans rather than the other way around.
“It is very difficult to imagine a situation where all of this [contaminated] the food came to a market in China, and not the biggest one, from…
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