WHO team arrives in China to find coronavirus origin
Beijing, July 14: Two World Health Organisation (WHO) experts have arrived in China for research on the source of the new coronavirus, the country's foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying confirmed on Monday.
The two experts will cooperate with Chinese scientists and medical experts and discuss related questions, CGNT quotes Hua, as saying but did not provide details on the experts' itinerary in China.
Hua said the experts might also make a similar trip to other countries and regions.
"WHO also believes that to trace the source of the virus is a continuous and developing process, which may involve multiple countries and regions. WHO will conduct similar inspections in other countries and regions as needed," Hua told reporters.
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 U.S. - the organisation's top funder - moving to cut ties with it over allegations it 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.
Countries like, Brazil and India are continuing to see an increasing number of cases.