World Health Organization expert Peter Ben Embarek said that the team investigating the origins of the coronavirus in Wuhan have identified two scenarios that most likely caused the transmission of Covid-19 to the human population.
"Our initial findings suggest that the introduction through an intermediary host species is the most likely pathway and one way that will require more studies and more specific targeted research," Ben Embarek said during a news conference on Tuesday.
He added that the possibility of transmission through the trade of frozen products was also likely.
Ben Embarek also noted two other hypotheses the team had probed while investigating the origin of the virus.
One hypothesis was a "direct zoonotic spillover," meaning, direct transmission from an animal reservoir to a human.
"The hypothesis of a direct spillover from an original animal source into the human population is also a possible pathway and is also generating recommendation for future studies," he said.
The fourth hypothesis was the possibility of a laboratory-related incident, but that this was the least likely of the four to be the cause of the virus' introduction to humans.
Findings suggest that the laboratory hypothesis is extremely unlikely to explain the introduction of the virus to the human population," Ben Embarek said.
Correction: An earlier version of this story misstated Peter Ben Embarek’s name on second and subsequent references. It’s been updated.