World

Johnson calls for probe into virus origin

By AAP Newswire

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has told the World Health Organization head that an independent inquiry into the origins of the coronavirus outbreak needs to take place, .

He made the comments in a telephone call to WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Tuesday, Johnson's office said.

Tedros agreed with Johnson, according to Downing Street.

Johnson also spoke with UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres about the COVID-19 outbreak.

"On both calls, the prime minister set out the UK's support for the international effort to defeat coronavirus and for the work of the UN and WHO in helping to co-ordinate the global response," a spokesman for Johnson's office said.

"The prime minister and Dr Tedros agreed on the importance of an independent investigation into the origins of the coronavirus outbreak, so we can learn lessons to prevent future pandemics.

The call for an independent inquiry into the origin of the disease comes amid some international criticism that China was not transparent enough when coronavirus first appeared.

US President Donald Trump has also been highly critical of the WHO during the outbreak.