Coronavirus — WHO Team Begins Investigation

  • “All hypotheses are on the table as the team follows the science in their work,” it said.
  • The team of experts have been in China for two weeks to verify the origin of the Coronavirus.
  • It is believed that the Huanan Market, which is still closed, was the first site where a large number of new Corona infections were discovered.

On Friday, the World Health Organization (WHO)’s team will visit laboratories and markets in Wuhan, China, as part of an investigation into the origin of the emerging virus, which infected and killed millions around the world within about a year of its discovery. More than 2 million people have died as a result of more than 101 million infections worldwide.

WHO team in Wuhan

“The team plans to visit hospitals, laboratories, and markets. Field visits will include the Wuhan Institute of Virology, Huanan market, Wuhan CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) laboratory,” the WHO said in a tweet.

“All hypotheses are on the table as the team follows the science in their work,” it said, adding, “they should receive the support, access, and the data they need.”

Coronavirus infections have been recorded in more than 210 countries and regions since the first cases were discovered in China in December 2019. The team of experts have been in China for two weeks to verify the origin of the Coronavirus.

“It is now that the actual fieldwork can begin, and it is my expectation that for this part of the mission we will have unhindered access to the requested destinations and individuals,” Thea Fischer, a Danish team member, told Reuters by phone from Wuhan.

“But it is important to remember that the success of this mission and origin-tracing is 100% depending on access to the relevant sources. No matter how competent we are, how hard we work, and how many stones we try to turn, this can only be possible with the support from China.”

Wuhan, the sprawling capital of Central China’s Hubei province, is a commercial center divided by the Yangtze and Han rivers. The city contains many lakes and parks, including expansive, picturesque East Lake.

It is believed that the Huanan Market, which is still closed, was the first site where a large number of new Coronavirus infections were discovered.

As for the Wuhan Institute of Virology, it includes a virus testing facility that former US President Donald Trump has repeatedly stressed, without evidence, was the source of the virus.

However, the team’s exact schedule remains unclear. The main source of information is tweets from the World Health Organization and its experts.

The WHO added that the team of independent experts, which is scheduled to remain in China for another two weeks, will also speak to a group of the first people infected with the virus in the city. They noted that all assumptions are on the table while the team follows the scientific method in its work.

The World Health Organization has sought to lower expectations regarding the team’s reaching results, and the WHO’s director of emergencies, Mike Ryan, said that the task is difficult and there are no guarantees that answers will be found.

Wuhan residents expressed their support for the World Health Organization’s team to investigate the origins of the Coronavirus pandemic in the city. The team left the quarantine hotel in Wuhan on Thursday to begin fieldwork, two weeks after its arrival in the city.

Benedict Kasigara

I have been working as a freelance editor/writer since 2006. My specialist subject is film and television having worked for over 10 years from 2005 during which time I was the editor of the BFI Film and Television.

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