THE CHIEF of the World Health Organisation (WHO) says he is “disappointed” that investigators have not yet been given Visas to access China to probe the origins of Covid-19.
Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters that “Today, we learned that Chinese officials have not yet finalised the necessary permissions for the team’s arrivals in China”. The WHO has been trying to send a team of epidemiologists and animal experts to investigate the origins of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“I am very disappointed with this news, given that two members had already begun their journeys and others were not able to travel at the last minute,” he said.
The mission to probe how the coronavirus may have been transferred to humans from animals has been a highly sensitive project. This marks the first time that the WHO has explicitly stated when exactly the scientific investigation was due to begin, with the UN health agency only previously suggesting it would take place during the first week of January.
The WHO’s emergency director, Michael Ryan, has stressed that Dr. Tedros has emphasised to Beijing “the absolutely critical nature of this” investigation, adding that “we trust and we hope that this is just a logistic and bureaucratic issue that can be resolved very quickly.”
The origins of the coronavirus remain a murky and unresolved issue, with the international community calling on China to offer full transparency into how the disease that has killed 1.8 million people globally and paralyse the world managed to emerge from Wuhan in late 2019.
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