Published On: Sun, May 3rd, 2020

Trump row erupts as WHO hits out at president and insists coronavirus ISN’T from China lab | World | News

Speaking to the BBC’s Andrew Marr show on Sunday Ms Van Kerkhove was pressed on Trump’s comments about the WHO doing China’s PR.

She said: “I can tell you that our teams have been working even before this virus was even identified to do everything we can to inform all our member states and people all over the world about what this virus is.”

The WHO chief also dismissed claims the novel coronavirus had been produced in a Wuhan research lab after Trump claimed to have seen evidence that it did.

She insisted the disease came from animals, citing the fact most emerging pathogens derive from an animal reservoir and everything known about the novel coronavirus points to natural origins.

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She said: “Coronaviruses normally circulate in animals. And many coronaviruses are circulating in bats.”

She explained it was normal to see an animal origin for emerging infectious diseases.

She said: “Most emerging pathogens come from an animal reservoir.

“Everything that we have seen about the novel coronavirus, of the tens of thousands of sequences that are available, points to a natural origin.

“And it originally comes from bats because the coronaviruses come from bats.”


As the world grapples to control the deadly pandemic, questions abound about when severe restrictions can be lifted amid fears of a devastating second wave.

Asked if a second wave of infection could be likely in countries that have started to ease their lockdowns, Ms Van Kerkhove warned the world to be on alert.

She said: “It’s certainly possible. What we’re seeing in a number of countries that have been successful in suppressing transmission is that many more people remain susceptible.

“And what we’re seeing in countries like Singapore where they’ve seen almost like a second wave, essentially what it is is actually outbreaks that are happening in expat dormitories and so the virus has found a place where it can take hold and it can resurge again.

“So all countries must remain on alert for the possibility of additional transmission even if they have been successful in suppressing transmission in the first round.”

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