WHO accuses China of withholding data over possible Covid origin link to raccoon dogs

The World Health Organisation is criticising China for allegedly witholding key data that Covid originates from raccoon dogs sold at a market in the city of Wuhan in late 2019.

Gene sequences of animals from the market were put online in January, but disappeared once experts offered to collaborate on their analysis with their Chinese counterparts, The New York Times reports.

“These data could have – and should have – been shared three years ago,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the WHO, said during a Friday news briefing. “We continue to call on China to be transparent in sharing data, and to conduct the necessary investigations and share the results. Understanding how the pandemic began remains both a moral and scientific imperative.”

This is a breaking news storyand will be updated with new information.