World Health Organization (WHO) has announced the establishment of a scientific advisory group to identify the origin of COVID-19 and other future outbreaks. The WHO’s Scientific Advisory Group for the Origins on Novel Pathogens, or SAGO, will include 26 scientists from the US, China and about two dozen other countries to find out the answer the question of how the novel coronavirus first infected humans. The group will also be responsible for establishing a framework to combat future pandemics.
WHO’s top emergency expert Mike Ryan said the new panel may be the last chance to establish the origin of SARS-CoV-2, ‘a virus that has stopped our whole world.’ WHO technical lead on COVID-19 Maria van Kerkhove voiced hope that there would be further WHO-led international missions to China which would engage the country’s cooperation. WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, the emergence of new viruses with the potential to spark epidemics and pandemics is a fact of nature, and while SARS-CoV-2 is the latest such virus, it will not be the last.