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Montevideo, January 17th 2021 - 08:47 UTC

 

 

China has yet to authorize scientists' visit to Wunan as promised; WHO chief “very disappointed”

Wednesday, January 6th 2021 - 08:51 UTC
Full article 3 comments
The 10-strong team had been due to set off in early January as part of a long-awaited mission to probe early cases of the coronavirus in China's Wuhan. The 10-strong team had been due to set off in early January as part of a long-awaited mission to probe early cases of the coronavirus in China's Wuhan.

The head of the World Health Organization said on Tuesday he was “very disappointed” that China has still not authorized the entry of a team of international experts to examine the origins of the coronavirus.

The 10-strong team had been due to set off in early January as part of a long-awaited mission to probe early cases of the coronavirus, first reported over a year ago in China's Wuhan.

“Today we learned that Chinese officials have not yet finalized the necessary permissions for the team's arrival in China,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told an online news conference in Geneva.

“I have been in contact with senior Chinese officials and I have once again made it clear the mission is a priority for the WHO,” he said of the trip discussed with Beijing.

The mission was due to be led by Peter Ben Embarek, WHO's top expert on animal diseases that cross the species barrier, who went to China on a preliminary mission last July.

Two members of the international team had already set out on their journey to China. One has now turned back and the other is in transit in a third country, emergencies chief Mike Ryan said.

However, he added: “We trust and hope that is just a logistic and bureaucratic issue that can be resolved very quickly.”

Ahead of the trip, Beijing has been seeking to shape the narrative about when and where the pandemic began, with senior diplomat Wang Yi saying “more and more studies” showed that it emerged in multiple regions. Ryan has previously called this “highly speculative”.

China has dismissed criticism of its handling of early cases that emerged in late 2019, although some including U.S. President Donald Trump have questioned Beijing's actions during the outbreak.

Washington, which has announced plans to leave the WHO, has called for a “transparent” investigation and criticized its terms under which Chinese experts conducted the first phase of research.

Tags: China, COVID-19, WHO, Wuhan.

Top Comments

Disclaimer & comment rules
  • Skip

    If China can attempt to ethnically cleanse an entire homeland, then it can easily sanitise a scummy wet market inside its fascist dictatorship.

    There is nothing to be learnt here. We all just have to remember what happened.

    Jan 07th, 2021 - 11:28 pm +1
  • imoyaro

    Hilarious! Tedros helped the Chinese in covering up the facts when the plague started, and now he's “disappointed?” What a tool...

    Jan 08th, 2021 - 09:46 pm +1
  • sallysandra

    Please correct spelling of WUHAN.
    Merco Press reports that PRC will grow faster than the rest of the world yet PRC delays visits by WHO scientists to study the origin of the virus. President Trump may be justified in his concern about totalitarian control of world health and should increase sanctions on communist companies in pandemic purgatory.

    Jan 06th, 2021 - 11:18 am 0
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