The team of 10 virologists and other scientists will spend about a month in the Chinese city where COVID-19[feminine[feminine appeared over a year ago.
After spending the first two weeks in quarantine, the WHO team will investigate scientists’ claims that the virus has passed from animals to humans elsewhere in China before the first cases were detected in the Huanan wet market in Wuhan.
It comes after the team – which hails from the UK, US, Australia, Germany, Japan, Russia, the Netherlands, Qatar and Vietnam – were stopped entering the country earlier this month.
Some of the experts had already left their home countries and were on their way when China said they would not be allowed entry due to incomplete checks.
The WHO had been in talks with China since July, but experts were refused entry on January 6.
Managing Director Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at the time: “Today we learned that Chinese officials have not yet finalized the necessary clearances for the team’s arrival in China.
“I am very disappointed with this news, as two members had already started their journey and others were unable to travel at the last minute, but had been in contact with senior Chinese officials. ”
According to reports, the Chinese government strictly controls all research into the origins of the virus, and state media have made claims that it could have originated elsewhere.
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Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi recently said that “more and more research suggests that the pandemic was likely caused by separate outbreaks in several parts of the world.”
Meanwhile, coronavirus cases are on the rise again in China, with officials reporting its first death from the virus in months.
According to the National Health Commission, 43 new cases have been recorded in Heilongjiang Province, most of them concentrated near the capital, Harbin.
81 other infections were recorded in Hebei province near Beijing and 14 outside China.
That made Thursday the second day in a row that the national infection tally rose to triple digits.
More than 20 million people are locked in Hebei, Beijing and beyond in hopes of stemming the spread before the Chinese New Year.
Officials are urging people not to travel, with some routes suspended and schools ending a week earlier to reduce the risk of infection.