The World Health Organization has issued a call for health experts to join a new advisory group it is forming, in part to address the agency’s fraught attempts to investigate how the coronavirus pandemic started.
The United Nations health agency said the new scientific group would provide the WHO with an independent analysis of the work done to date to pinpoint the origins of COVID-19 and to advise the agency on necessary next steps.
The experts will also provide guidance on critical issues regarding the potential emergence of other viruses capable of triggering outbreaks, such as MERS and Ebola.
The WHO said it is seeking up to 25 officials with relevant expertise to apply for membership in its new scientific advisory group by September 10.
Numerous health experts and scientists have called for an independent investigation to be conducted beyond the WHO, pointing out the agency has no authority to compel countries, including China, to cooperate.
The WHO’s new expert group will be bound by certain confidentiality rules, similar to those in place for many of the agency’s other expert groups.
The WHO will retain full control over any reports, including whether or not they will be published.