WHO team to visit China to trace COVID-19 origins

at 1:05 pm
WHO chief 'disappointed' with China over delaying entry to virus investigation team
WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus

New Delhi (NVI): World Health Organization (WHO) director general, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has said that an international team of scientists is headed to China to study the origin of the COVID-19 outbreak in Wuhan.

While addressing a media briefing, the WHO chief said, “We are pleased that an international team of scientists – distinguished experts from ten institutions and countries – are commencing their travel to China to engage in and review scientific research with their Chinese counterparts on the origins of the COVID-19 virus,” WHO quoted in a tweet.

“Studies will begin in Wuhan, China to identify the potential source of infection of the early cases. Scientific evidence will drive hypotheses, which will then be the basis for further, longer-term studies,” Tedros added.

He further stated that, “This is important not just for COVID-19 but for the future of global health security and to manage emerging disease threats with pandemic potential.”

These comments of Tedros came after China announced that the WHO team would arrive in China on Thursday.

Last week, the WHO chief said that he was very disappointed that Beijing had not yet finalized authorizations for the international experts.

“Two of the team members had begun their trip while others could not travel due to a visa clearance issue,” he said.

Earlier, Beijing had said it would give the WHO’s expert team full access to investigate the virus origin, according to media reports.

The organization has been working for months to send a 10-person team of international experts, including epidemiologists and animal health specialists, to China to help probe the origin of the coronavirus pandemic.

-RJV