ArrowArtboardCreated with Sketch.Title ChevronTitle ChevronIcon FacebookIcon LinkedinIcon Mail ContactPath LayerIcon MailPositive ArrowIcon Print

WHO coronavirus report: Animal carrier 'very likely' started pandemic

Lab leak called 'extremely unlikely' as 14 nations express concern over China study

A cell, red, is infected with particles of the virus that causes COVID-19, yellow, in this image provided by the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

PARIS/SHANGHAI/DALIAN, China -- The novel coronavirus that has killed around 2.8 million people worldwide most likely first spread to humans from animals, a World Health Organization report on the origins of the pandemic has found.

Tuesday's report almost totally rules out the laboratory leak hypothesis, which alleges that the virus escaped or was released from a research facility. This scenario, one of four considered by investigators during a joint WHO-China study from January to February, is called "extremely unlikely."

Sponsored Content

About Sponsored Content This content was commissioned by Nikkei's Global Business Bureau.

Discover the all new Nikkei Asia app

  • Take your reading anywhere with offline reading functions
  • Never miss a story with breaking news alerts
  • Customize your reading experience

Nikkei Asian Review, now known as Nikkei Asia, will be the voice of the Asian Century.

Celebrate our next chapter
Free access for everyone - Sep. 30

Find out more