The World Health Organization (WHO) on Friday reiterated that the novel coronavirus was of natural origin.
The organization’s statement comes a day after the United States (US) President Donald Trump claimed that he had seen evidence that the deadly virus originated in a Chinese laboratory.
Scientists are of the view that the coronavirus has appeared among humans after it emerged in a market in China’s Wuhan last year, linked to an animal that has not yet been identified.
WHO emergencies chief Michael Ryan on Friday claimed that the organization has listened ‘again and again’ too many scientists who have looked at the gene sequences and the virus.
“We are assured that this virus is natural in origin,” Ryan added.
Ryan also said that it is important to establish the natural host of the virus and how it has been transmitted from animals to humans.
He also said that the purpose of understanding the source of the virus is necessary to put in place the prevention and public health measures so that it does not occur anywhere again.
On Thursday, Trump suggested he was confident that China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology was at the origin of the coronavirus, before again criticizing WHO’s an early response to the outbreak.
The WHO’s Emergency Committee on the COVID-19 outbreak recommended Friday that the outbreak remains an international public health emergency, its highest level of alert.
Over 230000 lives have been claimed by the deadly virus globally and it has also infected more than 3 million people.