WHO team investigating the origins of COVID-19 in Wuhan, China


A World Health Organization (WHO) -led team of experts investigating the origins of COVID-19 on Saturday (January 30) visited a hospital in the Chinese city of Wuhan that was one of the main hospitals treating patients with Covid-19 in the early stages of the epidemic.

Saturday is the second day of field visits for the team after they came out of quarantine on Thursday (January 28).

A WHO spokeswoman said the group’s contacts in Wuhan will be limited to visits organized by their Chinese hosts due to health restrictions.

The team plans to visit labs, markets and hospitals during its remaining two weeks in Wuhan, where the coronavirus was first identified in late 2019.

While an exact itinerary has not been announced, the WHO has said the team plans to visit the seafood market at the center of the early outbreak as well as the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

One hypothesis, rejected by China, is that the outbreak was caused by a leak at the government lab.

The WHO-led probe in Wuhan has been plagued by delays, concern over access and bickering between China and the United States, which accused China of hiding the extent of the initial outbreak and criticized the terms of the visit, under which Chinese experts conducted the first phase of research. —Martin Pollard

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