China rejects WHO’s plan to probe COVID-19 origins; says it ‘disregards common sense and defies science’

China on Thursday rejected World Health Organisation’s (WHO) proposal to conduct a second phase of investigation into the origins of coronavirus.

WHO proposed the second phase of the study which included audits of laboratories and markets in the city of Wuhan. 

Zeng Yixin, vice-minister of the National Health Commission (NHC), told reporters that the investigation “disregards common sense and defies science”.

According to Reuters, Zeng was taken aback when he first read the WHO plan because it lists the hypothesis that a Chinese violation of laboratory protocols had caused the virus to leak during research.

“We hope the WHO would seriously review the considerations and suggestions made by Chinese experts and truly treat the origin tracing of the COVID-19 virus as a scientific matter, and get rid of political interference,” Zeng said.

Zeng along with other officials urged WHO to expand the investigation beyond China to other countries as well. 

Biden administration commented on the matter saying that it is “deeply disappointed” with China’s decision, Reuters reported. 

The first cases of COVID-19 emerged in Wuhan in 2019. It is believed to have jumped to humans from animals being sold for food at a city market.