The WHO report on the origin of COVID-19 will indicate the transmission of the coronavirus to humans from bats via another animal as the most likely cause, the AFP agency reported on Tuesday.
The report is intended to dismiss the laboratory leak theory.
According to the French agency, which gained access to the document before its presentation, the WHO experts recommend proceeding with research on the three most likely, in their opinion, theses.
The first, the most probable one, concerns the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 to humans from animals, most likely bats, via another creature, among which the house cat, rabbit, mink, pangolin and musk rye are taken into account.
However, WHO researchers do not rule out the theory of direct transmission of the virus from bats, which was deemed “probable", and the China-favoured theory of virus transmission via frozen meat, labelled as "possible".
At the same time, the theory of SARS-CoV-2 escaping the Wuhan Institute of Virology laboratory was pronounced "extremely improbable".
The full report summarising the WHO experts' visit to China in January and February is to be presented at a press conference in Geneva at 4 PM local time.