• Saturday, Aug 15, 2020
  • Last Update : 01:54 am

WHO experts to visit China as part of Covid-19 investigation

  • Published at 01:55 pm July 10th, 2020
China coronavirus
File Photo: People are wearing face masks inside the Jingshen seafood market which has been closed for business after new coronavirus infections were detected, in Beijing, China, June 12, 2020 strong>Reuters

WHO officials were privately frustrated over the lack of transparency and access in China, according to internal audio recordings

Two World Health Organization (WHO) experts will spend the next two days in the Chinese capital to lay the groundwork for a larger mission to investigate the origins of the Covid-19 pandemic.

One animal health expert and one epidemiologist during their visit to Beijing on Saturday and Sunday will work to fix the "scope and terms of reference" for the future mission aimed at learning how the virus jumped from animals to humans, the agency's statement said Friday, reports UNB quoting the Associated Press (AP).

Scientists believe the virus may have originated in bats, then was transmitted through another mammal such as a civet cat or an armadillo-like pangolin before being passed on to people at a fresh food market in the central Chinese city of Wuhan late last year.

In an effort to block future outbreaks, China has cracked down on the trade in wildlife and closed some wet markets, while enforcing strict containment measures that appear to have virtually stopped new local infections.

The WHO mission is politically sensitive, with the US — the top founder of the UN body — moving to cut ties with it over allegations the agency mishandled the outbreak and is biased toward China.

More than 120 nations called for an investigation into the origins of the virus at the World Health Assembly in May. China has insisted that WHO lead the investigation and for it to wait until the pandemic is brought under control. The US, Brazil, and India are continuing to see an increasing number of cases.

The last WHO coronavirus-specific mission to China was in February, after which the team's leader, Canadian doctor Bruce Aylward, praised China's containment efforts and information-sharing. Canadian and American officials have since criticized him as being too lenient on China.

An Associated Press investigation showed that in January, WHO officials were privately frustrated over the lack of transparency and access in China, according to internal audio recordings. Complaints included that China delayed releasing the genetic map, or genome, of the virus for more than a week after three different government labs had fully decoded the information.

Privately, top WHO leaders complained in meetings the week of January 6 that China was not sharing enough data to assess how effectively the virus spread between people or what risk it posed to the rest of the world, costing valuable time.

50
50
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail