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'Not a blame game': WHO urges collaboration after Beijing rejects proposed second probe into Covid-19 origins

'Not a blame game': WHO urges collaboration after Beijing rejects proposed second probe into Covid-19 origins
A World Health Organization spokesman has called on nations around the world to further their cooperation with the international body in finding the origins of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Speaking on Friday at a briefing in Geneva, World Health Organization (WHO) spokesman Tarik Jasarevic urged nations not to think of investigations into the origins of the Covid-19 pandemic as political. "This is not about politics, it's not about a blame game," the spokesman said, adding that there was a real requirement for increased collaboration. 

"It is about basically a requirement we all have to try to understand how the pathogen came into the human population. In this sense, countries really have the responsibility to work together and to work with WHO in a spirit of partnership," he stated.

Jasarevic's remarks come just a day after China refused to participate in a second probe concerning the origins of the virus, in which Beijing said that any proposed lab-leak theory goes against science. 

Also on rt.com China refuses to participate in 2nd phase of WHO’s Covid origins probe, says research into lab leak theory goes against ‘science’

Zeng Yixin, deputy head of China's National Health Commission, said on Thursday that Beijing was surprised to see research into the lab-leak theory as a listed objective for the organization's proposed second visit to China and specifically Wuhan.

Last week, WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that China had still not provided raw data from the early days of the pandemic. "Now we have designed the second phase of the study, and we are asking, actually, China to be transparent, open and cooperate," he stated. 

Earlier this year, WHO experts spent around a month in China. Their report said that cases identified in Wuhan in 2019 were believed to have been acquired from "a zoonotic source, as many reported visiting or working in the Huanan Wholesale Seafood Market." 

Beijing has repeatedly called on the US and other nations to stop politicizing the issue of the pandemic's origin. However, on Wednesday the Chinese foreign ministry suggested, once again, that there should be a probe into the US' Fort Detrick biolab as an origin of the virus. 

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