WHO report rules out lab-leak theory of novel coronavirus

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Geneva

An international expert mission to Wuhan concluded in a report seen Monday that Covid-19 likely first passed to humans from a bat through an intermediary animal, with investigators all but ruling out a laboratory leak.

The intermediate host hypothesis was deemed “likely to very likely”, while the theory that the virus escaped from a lab was seen as “extremely unlikely”, according to a copy of the long-awaited final report obtained by AFP before its official release.

The report, drafted by a team of international experts appointed by the World Health Organisation and their Chinese counterparts, comes as dramatic infection spikes in Europe have forced a tightening of unpopular restrictions across the continent.—AFP