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WHO sacks top Covid origin investigator over sexual misconduct

New York, May 6 (IANS) The World Health Organisation (WHO) has sacked a top investigator who led the global team into Covid-19 pandemic origins “following findings of sexual misconduct”.

According to The Financial Times, Peter K. Ben Embarek, a food safety scientist and member of the WHO team tasked with investigating the origins of the coronavirus disease, has been dismissed.

The events leading to WHO decision to sack the top scientist happened in 2015 and 2017.

According to a WHO spokesperson, the agency’s investigation team first learned about the allegations in 2018 and at the time, acethere was a significant backlog”.

The agency said that allegations against Dr Embarek that “could not be fully investigated” at that time “because the victim or victims did not want to participate in the process”.

In a statement to Reuters, Dr Embarek said that a 2017 incident had been settled and he was “not aware of any other complaints, and no other complaints have ever been brought to my attention”.

“I duly contest the qualification of harassment, and I am quite hopeful in the defense of my rights,” he was quoted as saying.

In 2021, Dr Embarek led a WHO mission to Wuhan, China, to probe the origins of the pandemic.

At a press conference in Wuhan, he said it was “extremely unlikely that the virus leaked from a Wuhan laboratory”.

The lab leak theory, however, remains contentious.



Agency News Desk
Agency News Desk
The Agency News Desk comprises team members including Puja T, S Ghadashi, N N Sethi, curate & publish news-worthy domestic & international content from the designated news agencies like Indo Asian News Service, others. The content team can be contacted on and on @glamsham on social media platforms. Kindly visit for more information
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