After months of resisting, China allows WHO officials to visit from Thursday to probe coronavirus origin
Beijing, Jan 11: After months of resisting, China has now said that they will allow experts from the World Health Organization to come investigate the origins of the Coronavirus from Thursday.
A one-sentence announcement from the National Health Commission on Monday said the experts would be meeting with Chinese counterparts but gave no other details.
It wasn't immediately clear whether they would be traveling to the central Chinese city of Wuhan, where the coronavirus was first detected in late 2019.
The mission had earlier faced delays on part of Beijing, after which WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who is often accused of being pro-China, in a media conference on Tuesday expressed disappointment over China not finalising the necessary permissions for the experts team's arrival.
China and the World Health Organisation have reached a consensus on specific arrangements of the investigation with four video conferences, Zeng was quoted as saying by state-run Global Times.
China has been proactively questioning the widely-held view that the deadly outbreak broke out in a wet market in Wuhan where live animals, birds and reptiles are sold and spread to humans. The market remained closed and sealed since early last year.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said in a recent interview to official media that China "raced against time" and was the first country to report coronavirus cases to the world.
More and more research suggests that the pandemic was likely to have been caused by separate outbreaks in multiple places in the world".
In May last year, the World Health Assembly (WHA) -- the governing body of the 194-member states of the WHO -- approved a resolution to set up an independent inquiry to conduct an "impartial, independent and comprehensive evaluation" of the international response as well as that of the WHO.
It also asked the WHO to investigate the "source of the virus and the route of introduction to the human population"