Blaming China not the answer to COVID-19 origin-tracing: Zimbabwean FM

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International cooperation in fighting COVID-19 is indispensable if the world is to fully control and defeat the pandemic, Zimbabwean Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Frederick Shava said on Monday.

"As we grapple with the devastating effects of COVID-19, the world should work together to confront this pandemic. This pandemic should be a strong reminder of the importance of international solidarity," he said in a statement issued after briefing foreign diplomats on COVID-19.

"Blaming China is not the answer. China has been continuously blamed for the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic as many distractors advance the hypothesis of a laboratory leak as the origin of the current global health crisis," he said.

Shava said heaping blame on China would only derail the progress made so far in containing the pandemic, adding that conspiracies should not be allowed to hold the international community back in fighting the pandemic.

Shava reiterated that there was a need for science to drive and lead all global efforts in confronting the pandemic.

"Zimbabwe seeks and urges all to be guided by science. We must believe in science, providing empirically proven scientific evidence to support our claims," he noted.

"A case in point is the March 2020 joint report issued by the team of World Health Organization (WHO) convened experts who visited China and who were clear in their findings that some form of 'laboratory leak' was extremely unlikely," he said.

The senior diplomat said the concerted efforts China has made in fighting the pandemic have been impressive.

"The Chinese health and emergency services personnel have been working around the clock and deserve our support and commendation," he said.

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