Image source, Image caption, Questions about the origins of the Covid-19 center in Wuhan, where the virus first appeared
The OrganizationWorld Health Organization (WHO) says a new task force could be the last chance to find the origins of Covid -19.
It has appointed 26 experts to join the body, the Scientific Advisory Group on the Origins of the Novel Pa thogenes (Sago).
More than a year and a half since the virus was detected in the Chinese city of Wuhan, the question of how it first appeared remains uncertain.
The team will examine whether the virus has passed from animals to humans in Wuhan markets or leaked in a lab accident.
China has firmly refuted the second theory.
In February, a WHO team investigating Covid The origins of soared to China and concluded that the virus likely originated in bats, but more work was needed .
L the qualifying teamie the laboratory leak theory of "extremely unlikely .
Media caption, Covid-19 and Wuhan: Why don 't know no more?
But the Director-General of WHO, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus later said the investigation was hampered by a lack of data and transparency from China.
The proposed members of the Sago panel include six experts who visited the China as part of the previous te am.
Besides the coronavirus, Sago will also examine the origins of other pathogens.
"Understand where new pathogens come from is essential for preventing future epidemics, "said Dr Tedros.
In a joint editorial in the journal Science, Dr Tedros and other WHO officials declarified "a laboratory accident cannot be ruled out ".
Michael Ryan, WHO's emergency director, said Sago's work could be the "last chance to understand the origins of this virus ".
The new group's announcement comes as CNN reported that China was preparing to test tens of thousands of blood bank samples taken in the first months of the pandemic.
But Chen Xu, Chinese ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, said Sago's work must not be "politicized ".
"It's time to send teams to other places "he said.
WHO engaged in a geopolitical struggle
Tulip Mazumdar, Health CorrespondentGlobal
Almost two years since the start of the pandemic, we still don't know where, when or how the deadly Sars-Cov-2 virus emerged. Investigating new viruses is still extremely complex, but scientists have been able to find the source of the two previous coronavirus outbreaks - both of which emerged from animals.
It's been nine months since the last WHO - the summoned mission returned from Wuhan, saying a similar animal overflow was the most likely source of the pandemic. But questions continue to be raised about a potential accident at a Wuhan lab that studies coronaviruses and keeps thousands of bat samples. China has vigorously denied this.
The WHO says China has still not shared crucial data since the early days of the pandemic. The UN agency - which got caught in the fir The dividing line between China andAmerica's biggest geopolitical fight over this issue - has toughened its language on investigating a lab leak theory.
Science is becoming more and more politicized, with China so far refusing to allow international scientists to return to the country.
It is hoped that this new Sago organization with experts from 26 different countries will be able to break this deadlock and finally obtain essential answers so that the world can better prepare for future epidemics.