WHO chief says push to discount lab leak theory was ‘premature’

Tedros says ‘accidents happen’ in labs and calls on China to be more transparent

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The head of the World Health Organization has acknowledged it was premature to rule out a potential link between the Covid-19 pandemic and a laboratory leak, and said he was asking China to be more transparent as scientists search for the origins of the coronavirus.

In a rare departure from his usual deference to powerful member countries, WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said getting access to raw data had been a challenge for the international team that travelled to China earlier this year to investigate the source of Covid-19. The first human cases were identified in the Chinese city of Wuhan.

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