An international team of medical experts led by the World Health Organization arrived in Wuhan, China, to probe into the origins of the coronavirus pandemic. The team of experts landed on Thursday and is expected to head into fourteen days of quarantine.
The scientists had been set to arrive earlier in January, and Beijing’s delay drew rare public criticism from the global health agency accused by the US of being manipulated by China. When they arrived at the airport, they left the premises in a plastic tunnel named “epidemic international passage*. Later, they boarded a bus guarded by more than a dozen guards.
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Even though some experts waved at the media representatives, they refused to talk to the news outlets. The US had called for a transparent investigation into the origins of the respiratory disease following its accusations of China hiding the real extent of the outbreak in 2020. So far, the pandemic has killed more than two million people worldwide, with more than 90 million confirmed cases of the virus.
Besides, the visit of the experts comes as the nation is recording a surge in the new infections in some parts after managing for many months to curb the domestic cases. Additionally, the WHO said in a statement that the WHO’s top expert on animal diseases, Peter Ben Embarek, who visited China last year on a primary mission, is leading the team of investigators.
Following the two-week quarantine, the team will investigate the origins of the virus by interviewing people from laboratories, hospitals, and the seafood market where the virus is believed to have first emerged. Besides, Reuters reported that the experts are likely to spend most of their time in Wuhan and added that a member of the team stated that there were no restrictions imposed by the Chinese government.
Last week, Tedros Adhanom Gheybreyesus, the head of the global health agency, criticized China for delaying the investigation. But on Monday, he welcomed the announcement from Beijing. In recent months, the Chinese government has been promoting through its state media that the virus first emerged abroad.
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