Even as lab leak hypothesis is based on conjectures, it needs to be investigated

China’s secrecy, delay in reporting the outbreak in Wuhan, reluctance to allow quick and free access to the WHO team investigating virus origin, and the delay in finding the natural host or the intermediary has further fuelled the lab spillover hypothesis even in the absence of any compelling evidence. Over 17 months after the World … Continue reading Even as lab leak hypothesis is based on conjectures, it needs to be investigated

Explained: Probing the origin of SARS-CoV-2 virus

The WHO fact-finding team had initially rejected the possibility of a lab-leak saying it is “extremely unlikely” and that further investigation into it was not required. However, at a press briefing on February 12, the WHO Chief Tedros A Ghebreyesus appeared to backpaddle saying that on discussing with a few team members “all hypotheses [including … Continue reading Explained: Probing the origin of SARS-CoV-2 virus

Conspiracy theories about SARS-CoV-2 virus origin put to rest

In contrast to a lab-origin, the investigation by the WHO team now strongly suggests virus origin to a natural reservoir in bats, but unlikely to have been in Wuhan. The virus jumping directly from bats to humans is highly unlikely and initial investigation too suggests the introduction into humans through an intermediary host species. By … Continue reading Conspiracy theories about SARS-CoV-2 virus origin put to rest

Why working alongside China to uncover the virus’s origin is important

Even as global focus shifted to therapeutics and vaccine trials, it is reassuring that WHO is determined to discover the origin of the virus. But the pace of investigation leaves much to be desired. In 2003, a World Health Organization team was able to identify the animal source of SARS coronavirus within weeks despite the … Continue reading Why working alongside China to uncover the virus’s origin is important

U.S. withdrawal from WHO is a lose-lose proposition for all

The capricious decision to withdraw from WHO will have dire consequences for global public health. The departure of the U.S. will be a significant blow to the WHO in terms of loss of technical expertise and absent funding of about $450 million annually. The U.S. too stands to lose on health intelligence. On July 6, … Continue reading U.S. withdrawal from WHO is a lose-lose proposition for all

COVID-19: China’s dangerous obsession with secrecy a serious threat to global public health

Contrary to what was earlier reported, China confirmed to the WHO of the cluster of cases of ‘viral pneumonia of unknown cause’ on January 3 only after the global body twice reached out to the Chinese authorities on January 1-2. Powerful countries cannot be allowed to endanger the lives of global public by shirking responsibility. … Continue reading COVID-19: China’s dangerous obsession with secrecy a serious threat to global public health

Coronavirus: Trump finds a scapegoat in WHO

After blaming coronavirus as democrats’ new hoax, and calling the microbe as “China virus”, WHO has now become Mr. Trump’s latest scapegoat for all the failures of his administration in containing the spread. After blaming the Democrats for investing a ‘hoax’ in the form of novel coronavirus, and pointing fingers at China by calling the … Continue reading Coronavirus: Trump finds a scapegoat in WHO

Coronavirus cases cross one million without counting asymptomatic ones

On April 2, novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) cases crossed one million and deaths passed 50,000. Besides missing out people with mild symptoms and underreporting, the actual number of infected people will be manifold higher as most countries do not test people who are asymptomatic. On April 2, the number of people infected with novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) … Continue reading Coronavirus cases cross one million without counting asymptomatic ones

Shutdown alone is not enough to break the chain: Giridhara Babu

In an unprecedented measure, India on March 25 began a country-wide shutdown for 21 days to cut the transmission chain of the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2). Can mitigation measures without tracking and testing every probable case help break the spread? At a press briefing on March 25, The WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said: “Shutting down … Continue reading Shutdown alone is not enough to break the chain: Giridhara Babu

China reports zero cases on three days, is it just a blip?

China had zero cases on March 18-20, but one local transmission on March 21. The turnaround in China comes at a time when the virus is galloping in Europe and is quickly spreading in the U.S. In a remarkable turnaround, China had zero cases of novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) on March 18-20, including in Wuhan, the … Continue reading China reports zero cases on three days, is it just a blip?