WHO Uncovers New Members of The Pathogen Squad


by Hamna Bano

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On Wednesday WHO proposed a team of scientists. A task was assigned to them linked with pathogens in order to prevent future pandemics. To revive the stalled probe into COVID-19 was also one of the assigned tasks.


This group of 26 experts will be charged with producing a new global framework for studies into the origins of emerging pathogens containing the potential of both pandemic and epidemic. Their remit also includes SARS-CoV-2; the virus that causes COVID-19 disease.

In recent years, a series of other high-risk pathogens have appeared and reappeared including MERS, bird flu, Lassa, and Ebola. “The emergence of new viruses with the potential to spark epidemics is a fact of nature, and while SARS-CoV-2 is the latest such virus it will not be the last,” said WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

The 26 proposed members are selected from a field of more than 700 applicants and drawn from a range of disciplines. They will be subjected to a 2-week public consultation. Some of them had been a part of the joint WHO- China scientific mission investigating the origins of Covid-19.

According to the terms of reference, the group must give an independent evaluation to WHO of all available scientific and technical findings from global studies on the origins of COVID-19.  It must also advise the UN health agency regarding the development, monitoring, and support of the next series of studies into the origins of the virus. This also includes rapid advice on WHO’s operational plans to implement the next series of studies into the pandemic’s origins and advice on additional studies.

WHO believes that it is extremely important to uncover the origins associated with the worst pandemic in a century.

It has killed almost a total of 4.85 million people and has battered the global economy since the virus was first detected in the Chinese city of Wuhan in December 2019.