An international group of experts from the WHO will arrive in China on January 14, to probe the origins of the coronavirus pandemic. The state television CGTN reported quoting China's National Health Commission that a team of WHO experts will conduct a field visit to China on Thursday. The team of expert is visiting China after more than a year since the virus outbreak.
China had delayed granting permission the 10-member team of experts and had invited criticism from the WHO over the delay. Monday’s confirmation came after WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who is often accused of being pro-China, had expressed disappointment last week over Beijing not finalising the necessary permissions for the expert team's arrival.
Tedros said he made it clear that the mission was a priority for the UN health agency and it was eager to get it underway as soon as possible. The delay by China to finalize the visit, fuelled concerns that Beijing was obstructing global efforts to trace the origins of COVID-19. Reacting to Tedros comments, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying had said that there might be some misunderstanding on this.
On January 9, Zeng Yixin, the deputy head of the National Health Commission (NHC) told the media that the exact time of the team’s arrival in Wuhan was still under negotiations. China and the World Health Organization (WHO) have reached a consensus on specific arrangements of the investigation with four video conferences, Zeng said.
The probe is expected to uncover the origin of the virus outbreak in Wuhan that later became a pandemic. (With inputs from AIR)