WHO: ‘Biological Hazard’ In Sudan After Lab With Virus Samples Occupied By Soldiers

The WHO has declared a high risk of a “biological hazard” after fighters stormed a lab in Sudan containing samples of polio, measles, and other diseases.

Fighting broke out in the African nation of Sudan earlier this month, between the country’s armed forces, and the paramilitary group, Rapid Support Forces, with at least 459 people dead so far, and 4,072 injured. Multiple nations, including the United Kingdom, are airlifting their citizens out of the country for safety reasons.

Speaking to journalists via a video link into Geneva, Nima Saeed Abid, the representative for the World Health Organisation, revealed that some fighters had stormed a lab used by the group, and had “kicked out all the technicians” in order to use it as a “military base.”

The fighters, which Abid did not mention who they were supporting, had seized control “completely” of the National Public Health Laboratory, which was currently being used to hold samples of deadly diseases, including measles, polio, and cholera, among other hazardous materials.

Abid said that the situation in the WHO lab, located in the Sudanese capital of Khartoum, was “extremely, extremely dangerous,” and posed a “huge biological risk.”

“This is the main concern: no accessibility to the lab technicians to go to the lab and safely contain the biological material and substances available,” the representative for the WHO in Sudan explained.

Some users on social media demanded questions as to why the lab “in that neck of woods” was even allowed to contain such deadly pathogens, with others drawing comparison to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Last year, it was reported that Tedros Ghebreyesus, the Director General of the WHO, believed that COVID-19 did, in fact, originate in a lab in Wuhan, China. According to the Daily Mail, he privately told a “senior European politician” that the most likely explanation for the origin of COVID-19 was a “catastrophic accident” at the Chinese facility.

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