Politicizing COVID-19 origins tracing hampers global anti-pandemic efforts: Cambodian official

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, August 30, 2021
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Photo taken on March 30, 2021 shows an exterior view of the World Health Organization (WHO) headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. [Photo/Xinhua]

The politicization of COVID-19 origins tracing is undermining global efforts to fight the pandemic, Cambodian government chief spokesman Phay Siphan said Saturday.

"The virus origins tracing is a serious scientific issue. One must not politicize it, or it will hamper global efforts to put an end to the pandemic," Siphan said.

He made the remarks a day after the National Intelligence of the United States released a summary of the intelligence community assessment on COVID-19 origins, which does not rule out either natural exposure nor laboratory accident as the origins of COVID-19.

The report also wrongly claimed that China "continues to hinder the global investigation, resist sharing information and blame other countries."

Siphan observed that China has already taken a transparent and responsible attitude since it had invited the World Health Organization (WHO) experts to look into the Wuhan Institute of Virology and other locations earlier this year.

"China has already opened its door for a probe to the WHO experts, but other countries have not yet opened their doors for the investigation. So I think China has already fulfilled its obligations," he said.

The spokesman noted that for global transparency, the countries, where the early cases of COVID-19 had been found, should open their doors to the WHO experts to trace the virus origins.

According to media reports, the first death from the virus in the United States was in early January 2020, several weeks earlier than previously announced by its authorities, he said.

Speaking of Cambodia's stance on COVID-19 origins tracing, Siphan said it was an immoral act to politicize the pandemic, calling on all countries to stay united to defeat the disease.

"One should not point fingers at this or that country over the virus origins. Instead, one should work together in solidarity to stop the pandemic," he said.

Siphan said that China has played a leading role in assisting countries in fighting the pandemic through offering medical equipment and vaccines.

Cambodia's Health Ministry on Saturday resolutely opposed the political manipulation of COVID-19 origins, saying that the virus origins tracing is purely scientific.

"Cambodia supports the scientific probe into the virus origins, but resolutely opposes the political manipulation of scientific results and the imposition of burdens on others without clear scientific evidence," Health Minister Mam Bunheng said in a statement.

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