Caixin
Jul 09, 2020 05:32 PM
SOCIETY & CULTURE

China to Let WHO Experts Into Beijing to Trace Origins of Covid-19

What’s new: China has agreed to allow the World Health Organization (WHO) to send a team to Beijing to help Chinese experts trace the origin of the Covid-19 virus that has infected more than 12 million people worldwide.

When asked about WHO’s announcement of sending experts to China, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said Wednesday that “the Chinese government has agreed to WHO sending experts to Beijing to exchange ideas with Chinese scientists and medical experts on science-based cooperation to trace the origin of the virus.”

“We have a fundamental consensus with WHO, that is, origin-tracing is a scientific issue that should be studied by scientists through international research and cooperation across the globe. It is also the view of WHO that it is an ongoing process probably concerning many countries and localities. WHO will conduct similar trips to other countries and regions in light of the actual need,” he added.

The background: China has been under pressure from numerous countries, which culminated in a WHO resolution, backed by over 100 countries and supported by China itself, calling for an investigation into the origins of the new coronavirus outbreak that first came to the WHO’s attention after it emerged in January at a seafood market in the city of Wuhan in Central China’s Hubei province. However, multiple recent accounts of scientific research and case studies indicate that the virus may have appeared in other parts of the world late last year or in early 2020.

In mid-February, in a joint team with Chinese experts, WHO specialists visited China and conducted field research into the country’s response to the early stage of the outbreak.

Quick Takes are condensed versions of China-related stories for fast news you can use.

Contact reporter Lu Zhenhua (zhenhualu@caixin.com) and editor Marcus Ryder (marcusryder@caixin.com)

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