World Health Organization head, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Friday that all hypotheses on the origins of Covid-19 remain open and require further analysis and study.
The statement follows on a WHO-led mission in China, this week that said it was not looking further into the question of whether the virus escaped from a lab, which it considered highly unlikely.
However despite the WHO experts mission in China, United States has said it will review the findings.
“Some questions have been raised as to whether some hypotheses have been discarded. Having spoken with some members of the team, I wish to confirm that all hypotheses remain open and require further analysis and study,” Tedros said.
“Some of that work may lie outside the remit and scope of this mission. We have always said that this mission would not find all the answers, but it has added important information that takes us closer to understanding the origins of the COVID-19 virus,” he said.
The mission has said its main hypotheses are that the virus originated in a bat, although there are several possible scenarios for how it passed to humans, possibly first by infecting another species of animal.
The former administration of U.S. President Donald Trump, which left office last month, said it believed the virus may have escaped from a bio-security lab in the Chinese city of Wuhan. China has strongly denied this, and says the Wuhan Institute of Virology was not studying related viruses.
But despite the urgency, it was several months before the Chinese government finally agreed to give access to the WHO mission of scientists into the country and the Wuhan city where alleged it all started.