WHO experts arrive in China to investigate Covid-19 origin

The WHO team is expected to visit Wuhan where the coronavirus first emerged late in 2019. | Photo: AFP

Wuhan, China — A 10-member team of researchers of the World Health Organization (WHO) has been sent to Wuhan of China to conduct a politically sensitive investigation into the origin of the Covid-19 pandemic.

While there are suspicion that the Beijing of China may be trying to prevent embarrassing discoveries as the ruling Communist Party stated that the virus came from abroad or was possibly on imported seafood. The Scientists refuse to admit this statement and believes that there is more to what caused a virus that has killed 1.9 million people since late 2019.

The Chinese government had initially rejected the demands for an international investigation after the Trump administration blamed Beijing for the virus’s spread. China has also attempted to stir confusion about the virus’s origin promoting theories, with little evidence saying that the outbreak might have started with imports of tainted seafood.

The 10-member team consists of virus and other experts from the United States, Australia, Germany, Japan, Britain, Russia, the Netherlands, Qatar and Vietnam. A spokesman of the Chinese government informed that the WHO experts will be exchanging views with Chinese scientists but gave no indication whether they would be allowed to gather evidence.

All of the members are mandated to go through a two-week quarantine period along with throat swab test and an antibody test for Covid-19. The experts will be working with Chinese experts even during quarantine period via video conference.

WHO believes that one of the possible origin of the virus may be the Wuhan Institute of Virology in the city where the outbreak began. It is one of China’s top virus research labs that built an archive of genetic information about bat coronaviruses after the 2003 outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome.

The published agenda of WHO for the origin of Covid-19 says that there are no plans to assess whether there might have been an accidental release of the coronavirus at the Wuhan lab as claimed by President Trump.

Experts in the field informed that it is very unlikely to trace the exact origin of the virus as viruses tend to change quickly. However, the experts informed that discovering closely related viruses in animals and humans may help the scientists explain how the disease first jumped from animals and further clarify the preventive measures that can be used to avoid future epidemics.