China News Service, Beijing, July 22, title:

(Fighting against New Coronary Pneumonia) Chinese officials will talk about the source of the new coronavirus: what has been done, what has not been done, what has to be done

  China News Agency reporter Li Chun

  The global traceability of the new crown virus has always been valued by all parties.

The China-WHO Joint Expert Group has carried out part of the traceability study in China this year, and concluded that "the virus is extremely unlikely to come from the laboratory" and other conclusions.

The second-stage traceability plan recently proposed by WHO has attracted widespread attention.

On the 22nd, the State Council Information Office of China held a press conference on the traceability of the new crown virus to explain China's position on the traceability of the virus, what it has not done, and what to do, and respond to the concerns of the outside world.

  "The so-called second-stage traceability plan announced by the WHO this time, in some respects, can be said to neither respect common sense, but also violate science. It is impossible for us to accept such a traceability plan.” Zeng Yixin, deputy director of the National Health Commission Pointed out.

  In January this year, the WHO international expert group came to China to carry out the work of the global traceability of the new crown virus in China, which received the full support of China.

WHO experts went to all the units they wanted to go, including 9 units including Jinyintan Hospital, South China Seafood Market, and Wuhan Institute of Virology, and all the visit requirements were met.

  On March 30, the Global Traceability Study of the New Coronavirus: The Joint Research Report of the Chinese Section, convened by the WHO, was officially released.

Regarding the way the virus appeared, the report concluded that it was "extremely unlikely" to be introduced from the laboratory.

The Chinese side commented that the report is "very valuable, authoritative, and can stand the test of science and history."

  However, recently, the WHO's attitude towards the results of the first-stage traceability study has taken a big turn.

On the 15th of this month, the Director-General of the World Health Organization stated that China cannot avoid laboratory accidents. Since there are accidents, viruses will leak, and the theory of artificial viruses cannot be completely ruled out.

He also stated that China did not share key information and asked China to conduct the second phase of the investigation.

  "To be honest, when I first saw the WHO's second phase traceability plan, I was very surprised. Because in this plan, the hypothesis of'China's violation of laboratory procedures causing virus leakage' was one of the research priorities. "Zeng Yixin said, "From this point, I can feel the disrespect for common sense and the arrogant attitude towards science revealed in this plan."

  Recently, there have been media speculations that three researchers from Wuhan Institute of Virology had been ill and went to the hospital in November 2019, and said that this increased the credibility that “the new crown virus may leak from the laboratory”.

But the relevant content was eventually proved to be "completely inconsistent with the facts."

  Yuan Zhiming, director of the Wuhan National Biosafety Laboratory of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and researcher of the Wuhan Institute of Virology, once again clarified at the press conference on the 22nd that as the laboratory with the highest level of biosafety and protection, the Wuhan P4 laboratory has not been officially put into operation in 2018. There have been any pathogen leakage and personnel infection accidents.

  "I want to emphasize that before December 30, 2019, Wuhan Institute of Virology has not been exposed to, preserved, or studied the new coronavirus; Wuhan Institute of Virology has never designed, manufactured, or leaked the new coronavirus; so far, Wuhan Institute of Virology has never designed, manufactured, or leaked the new coronavirus. The employees and graduate students of the People's Republic of China maintain the'zero infection' of the new crown virus." Yuan Zhiming said.

  During the time when he came to China to trace the virus, the WHO experts went to the Wuhan Institute of Virology to conduct on-site inspections and finally concluded that the virus is extremely unlikely to leak from the laboratory.

Zeng Yixin believes that experts are carefully selected by the WHO, are very authoritative and experienced in various fields, and their research conclusions should be respected.

  Regarding the issue of information transparency, China has stated more than once that patient’s clinical data, epidemiological survey data, laboratory test data, etc. involve personal privacy.

During the joint research in Wuhan, Chinese and foreign experts conducted joint research on these data.

In order to protect the privacy of patients, the Chinese side did not agree to provide the original data, and did not allow the foreign party to copy and take pictures, and the foreign experts also fully understood it.

  "It's not that we don't give it deliberately, nor that it's because we don't give it. The conclusions our research report draws are biased." Liang Wannian, the Chinese leader of the China-World Health Organization New Coronavirus Traceability Joint Research Expert Group, pointed out.

  Zeng Yixin said that the traceability of the new coronavirus is a scientific issue, and traceability should not be politicized.

"What is our purpose of tracing the source? It is to figure out the source of the virus, and then we can take effective measures to prevent similar epidemics from happening again."

  Speaking of the traceability work in the next stage, Zeng Yixin believes that the traceability report of the part of China points out the direction for the next step of multi-country and multi-regional joint traceability research under the global framework.

The second phase of virus traceability work should be extended on the basis of the first phase, and research should not be repeated for those that have already been carried out, especially those that have reached clear conclusions.

  Many experts who participated in the press conference on the same day also pointed out that the traceability work is complex and diverse, and "seeking the origin" should broaden the horizon. The traceability of the new coronavirus should be based on full and extensive consultations among WHO member states, and promote the traceability of early case searches, molecular epidemiology, and animal (intermediate) hosts in multiple countries and regions around the world. (Finish)