• Today
    August 03

  • 05:13 PM

WHO team heads to China

Reuters,

Added 10 July 2020

who

The headquarters of the World Health Organisation, Geneva, Switzerland. (Reuters)

Geneva - A two-member advance team of World Health Organisation (WHO) experts has left for China to organise an investigation into the origins of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) behind a pandemic that has killed more than 550 000 people globally, the UN agency said on Friday.

The virus is believed to have emerged in a wholesale market in the central Chinese city of Wuhan late last year after jumping the species barrier from the animal kingdom to infect humans.

The two WHO experts, specialists in animal health and epidemiology, will work with Chinese scientists to determine the scope and itinerary of the investigation, WHO spokeswoman Margaret Harris said, declining to name them.

who-director-general-tedros-adhanom-ghebreyesus“We know it’s very, very similar to the virus in the bat, but did it go through an intermediate species? This is a question we all need answered,” Harris told a news briefing.

WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (right) later told a news conference: “Two WHO experts are currently en route to China to meet with fellow scientists and learn about the progress made in understanding the animal reservoir for COVID-19 and how the disease jumped between animals and humans.”

He added, “This will help lay the groundwork for the WHO-led international mission into the origins.”

COVID-19 is the respiratory disease caused by the virus.

The United States, the WHO’s largest WHO donor, this week notified the agency that it was withdrawing in a year’s time after accusing it of being too close to China and not doing enough to question Beijing’s actions at the start of the crisis.

“We view the scientific investigation as a necessary step to having a complete and transparent understanding of how this virus has spread throughout the world,” Andrew Bremberg, US ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, said in a statement to Reuters.

“We expect that the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) will offer the team of scientists full access to data, samples, and localities, and look forward to its timely report,” Bremberg said.

US President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have said the pathogen may have originated in a laboratory in Wuhan, although they have presented no evidence for this and China has denied it. Scientists and US intelligence agencies have said it emerged in nature. (Reuters)

JOIN THE DISCUSSION

Dos and Donts


Welcome to our discussion forum here on nationnews.com. We encourage lively debate, but we also urge you to take note of the following:

  • Stay on topic – This helps keep the thread focused on the discussion at hand. If you would like to discuss another topic, look for a relevant article.
  • Be respectful – Meeting differences of opinion with civil discussion encourages multiple perspectives and a positive commenting environment.
  • Do not type in capitals – In addition to being considered “shouting” it is also difficult to read.
  • All comments will be moderated – Given the volume of comments each day, this may take some time. So please be patient.
  • We reserve the right to remove comments – Comments that we find to be abusive, spam, libellous, hateful, off-topic or harassing may be removed.
  • Reproduction of comments – Some of your comments may be reproduced on the website or in our daily newspapers. We will use the handle, not your email address.
  • Do not advertise – Please contact our Advertising Department.
  • Contact our Online Editor if you have questions or concerns.
  • Read our full Commenting Policy and Terms of Use.
comments powered by Disqus

POLL

Is enough done to mark Emancipation Day in Barbados?

Yes
No

FRONT COVER OF TODAY'S NEWSPAPER

CARTOON

INSTAGRAM