WHO ASSEMBLES TEAM OF EXPERTS TO INVESTIGATE THE ORIGINS OF COVID-19 IN WUHAN


17/12/2020




İrem UZUN -TDO- A World Health Organization research mission to China is expected to arrive in Wuhan next month to investigate how the coronavirus jumped from animals to humans, and whether it emerged earlier or in a different place than originally thought.  Fabian Leendertz, a biologist at Germany’s Robert Koch Institute and a member of the WHO’s 10-person mission team, toldthey will be working with Chinese scientists for four to five weeks.

Leendertz told the Associated Press news agency that the WHO was not seeking to apportion blame, but rather to prevent future outbreaks. "It's really not about finding a guilty country," Leendertz said. "It's about trying to understand what happened and then see if, based on those data, we can try to reduce the risk in the future."

The global call to investigate the origin of the virus, suspected to be in China’s Wuhan, has been echoed by scientists and medical experts as the scourage by coronavirus disease has claimed millions of lives and upended economies across the world. Beijing has been reluctant to agree to an independent inquiry and it has taken many months of negotiations for the WHO to be allowed access to the city.

Assembled by the WHO, the team of 10 expects to start its search next month in Wuhan. They will then sift through samples and medical data to try and get closer to pinpointing how and where the virus transmitted from animals to humans for the first time.


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