World Health Organisation (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Monday urged leaders not to politicise the hunt for the origins of the novel coronavirus as it will not help in unearthing the truth of the virus.

Addressing a press briefing, Tedros said that the WHO will start the study from Wuhan and based on the findings, it will explore “if there are other avenues”.

“We are doing everything to make sure that we know the origin. Some have been politicising this. Our position is very clear that we’ll start the study from Wuhan, know what has happened there and based on findings, to explore if there are other avenues,” he said.

Reiterating WHO’s position, he said, “I would like to assure you that the WHO’s position is very very clear. We need to know the origin of this virus because it can help us to prevent future outbreaks.”

He further said that last week the world saw the first decline in the newly-reported cases of coronavirus since September due to the decrease in cases in Europe.

This, he said, was due to the effectiveness of difficult but necessary measures put in place in recent weeks. While congratulating the world for the “welcoming news”, he also warned that people still need to be cautioned as “gains can easily be lost”.

“This is welcome news, but it must be interpreted with extreme caution. Gains can easily be lost, and there was still an increase in COVID-19 cases in most other regions of the world and an increase in deaths,” he said.

“This is no time for complacency, especially with the holiday season approaching in many cultures and countries. We all want to be together with the people we love during festive periods. But being with family and friends is not worth putting them or yourself at risk,” Tedros said.

With just a few days left for celebrations like Christmas and New Year, the WHO chief said, “Even if we can’t celebrate as normal this year, make a plan to celebrate with your family and friends once it’s safe to do so. The Covid-19 pandemic will end – and we all have a part to play in ending it.”

“The Covid-19 pandemic will change the way we celebrate, but it doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate. The changes you make will depend on where you live. Always follow your local or national guidelines,” he added.

The global Covid-19 tally has touched 63 million.

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