Editorial

Virus with no known origin

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 4/5/2021 12:41:48 PM IST

 It has been nearly one and half years since the dreaded Coronavirus outbreak was declared a pandemic and causing the deaths of over 2.8 million people, while more than 130 million positive cases have been reported so far. Economies came to a standstill, even as science labs across the world raced to create a vaccine. Since then countries across the globe still want to know where and how the virus originated and also called into question the manner in which the World Health Organisation(WHO) handled the matter. After the virus was declared a pandemic, there were various media reports including statements from health and other government officials, especially the US which pinned the blame squarely on the Chinese Communist Party(CCP) for not being forthcoming with details of the virus which was reported to have first occurred at Wuhan. Interestingly, the Wuhan Institute of Virology(WIV) laboratory had been doing research on the virus since 2018. Wuhan doctor Li Wenliang who posted online reports about the virus, later contracted it after being silenced by local police. He died on February 7. China has been accused of covering up the severity of the pandemic after it started, which cost the world vital weeks of preparation time. There have been allegations that China tried to hush up earlier instances of the Covid infection, despite warning from doctors in the region. Epidemiological modelling, in fact, suggests that the virus was circulating in humans months before the first case was reported in December 2019. WHO the apex body dealing with worldwide epidemics and pandemics was also found to be complicit in parroting Chinese propaganda. WHO director general Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in particular suppressed facts about the outbreak according to a German Intelligence Agency(BND). The Trump administration had been blaming the Chinese for the spread of the virus by not warning the world about it. Then US secretary of state Mike Pompeo charged that WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus collaborated with Chinese President Xi Jinping “to hide human to human transmission at a critical juncture.” After Joe Biden became US president, his administration reversed Trump’s decision to quit WHO and also went soft on China regarding its role in the spread of the virus. After months of joint investigations by a team from WHO and the Chinese counterparts on the origin of the virus, a recent report said the virus was likely transmitted from various animals(and not specifically bats) and that it was “extremely unlikely” that the virus escaped from a laboratory in Wuhan. Just after the report was released on March 30, WHO chief Ghebreyesus said that the evidence was not enough to support the accidental lab leak theory, and that, as far as the WHO is concerned, all the hypotheses are still on the table and need to be followed upon. Despite criticisms across the world against the Chinese for withholding crucial information about the Wuhan virus, what WHO and the Chinese counterparts affirm, is that the virus did not originate in China and likely from other parts of the world. Unless the origin of the virus is found, it will take longer to finally stop the spread of the virus.

Launched on December 3,1990. Nagaland Post is the first and highest circulated newspaper of Nagaland state. Nagaland Post is also the first newspaper in Nagaland to be published in multi-colour.

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