WHO asserts coronavirus 'is natural in origin'

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Sat, 02 May 2020 - 09:57 GMT

World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus gestures during a press briefing on evolution of new coronavirus epidemic on January 29, 2020 in Geneva.

World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus gestures during a press briefing on evolution of new coronavirus epidemic on January 29, 2020 in Geneva.

GENEVA, May 1 (MENA) - The World Health Organization (WHO) on Friday said it is “assured” that the novel coronavirus, which has turned into a global pandemic, is “natural in origin” -- this as the US is increasingly eyeing a lab in Wuhan, China, as where the deadly outbreak may have started, FOX News reported.

“We have listened again and again to numerous scientists who have looked at the sequence and looked at the virus and we are assured that this virus is natural in origin,” Dr. Michael Ryan, executive director of WHO's Health Emergencies Program, said at a press conference when asked about the virus' origins.

"What is important is that we establish what that natural host for this virus is, and the primary purpose of doing that is to ensure we understand the virus more, we understand the animal-human interface and we understand how the animal-human species barrier was breached," he said.

Ryan's remarks come a day after acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell announced that the US is investigating whether the virus originated in a lab in Wuhan, although he, too, emphasized that the US believes the virus is natural and not man-made.

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