NEW DELHI: India on Friday said it is in favour of further probe into the origin of COVID-19 and sought the cooperation of China for the same.
India's reaction comes days after US President Joe Biden asked intelligence agencies to submit a fresh report on the issue. The move has irked China, which said that the US is playing politics, and dismissed theories that the virus has originated from a lab.
"The WHO convened global study on the origin of COVID-19 is an important first step. It stressed the need for next phase studies as also for further data and studies to reach robust conclusions. The follow up of the WHO report and further studies deserve the understanding and cooperation of all," Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said.
The US President had asked the intelligence community earlier this week to double their efforts to collect and analyse information that could bring people closer to a definitive conclusion, and to report back in 90 days.
In January and February, a team from the WHO which spent around four weeks in and around Wuhan, came to the conclusion that the virus had probably been transmitted from bats to humans and that introduction of the virus was an extremely unlikely pathway.
Interestingly, the team was not allowed to visit the Wuhan Institute of Virology, the place where theories claim that the virus was cultivated. WHO is currently reviewing the recommendations in this report to prepare a proposal for its director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, on the studies to be done in future.