Chinese officials have called the theory that the virus may have escaped from a Wuhan laboratory “absurd” and said repeatedly that “politicising” the issue would hamper investigations.
At a regular news briefing on Friday, when asked about Dr Tedros’s comments, China’s foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said some data was unable to be copied or leave China as it involved personal information.
China’s mission to the UN in Geneva did not respond to a request for comment.
But the mission did issue a statement on Thursday night saying that 48 developing countries had written to the WHO calling for the “global study on origin-tracing” to be guided by science and not by politics.
“For quite some time, a handful of countries, led by the US, have been stigmatizing the epidemic, putting a geographical label on the virus and politicizing the origins study,” it said.
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