WHO experts to arrive in Wuhan for delayed virus probe

Observerbd

BEIJING, Jan 12: A team of WHO experts will land directly in Wuhan on Thursday, China’s foreign ministry said Tuesday, starting their long-delayed probe into Covid-19 at the virus epicentre.
The ten scientists will investigate the origins of the new virus in a politically fraught mission that comes more than a year after the pandemic began and after accusations Beijing has tried to thwart the project.
The World Health Organization team will leave from Singapore and fly straight to Wuhan, the central city where the first cluster of cases was detected in December 2019.
Foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told reporters this was the “current plan” and said the WHO team was set to arrive Thursday.
It is expected that they will have to complete two weeks of quarantine due to China’s strict border restrictions.
The investigation had been set to start last week but a last-minute hold up over entry permissions in China scuppered plans.
Marion Koopmans, part of the WHO team and head of the viroscience department at Rotterdam’s Erasmus University Medical Center, said they wanted to “reconstruct” how the pandemic started.
“I think it would be the start of a probably longer term project,” she told Chinese state broadcaster CGTN.    -AFP

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