China has been transparent in sharing research results on the origins-tracing of SARS-CoV-2 with the international community, a Chinese health official said at a press conference on Saturday.
"Since the outbreak of COVID-19, we have been actively communicating and cooperating with the World Health Organization (WHO) and invited the WHO to send international experts twice to conduct joint studies on SARS-CoV-2 origins-tracing in China," said Shen Hongbing, deputy chief of the national administration of disease prevention and control and director of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (China CDC), while explaining China's efforts in this regard.
Shen said the first phase of the joint studies was successfully conducted in Wuhan, with a research report on China's part fully recognized by domestic and foreign experts and the WHO.
"Throughout the first phase of the joint studies, China provided the international experts with all materials related to the origins of the virus, and we did not hide any cases, samples or testing and analysis results," he said.
Speaking of the recent denial of the research results by certain WHO officials and experts, Shen said this goes against the scientific spirit and is an insult to those scientists who participated in the origins tracing.
Such a move politicizes the issue and is unacceptable to the scientific communities in China and the world as a whole, he said.
Shen added that China continued to share its research results with the international scientific community after the end of the first phase of the joint studies, with research findings published in academic journals both at home and abroad.
Zhou Lei, a research fellow at the China CDC who participated in the joint studies in Wuhan, said the Chinese experts shared all data and materials with their foreign counterparts, including information on COVID-19 cases from the early stages.
"We shared the information and conducted in-depth joint analysis and research, and the results were acknowledged by all experts," Zhou said.
Zhou noted that COVID-19 origins-tracing cannot be accomplished through the efforts of a single country, and requires concerted efforts from the global science community.
Zhou expressed the hope that the WHO can organize global origins-tracing work and remain science-based, rigorous and just in this regard, so that the origins-tracing can arrive at a convincing result.