WHO hopes China to facilitate trip of Int'l team probing virus origins as soon as possible
Moscow/Sputnik: The international expert team probing the origins of the novel coronavirus will travel to China, the World Health Organization (WHO)’s senior officials said on Monday, adding that they expect Beijing to facilitate the trip as soon as possible.
"The international team will travel to China, that is being discussed among the international team and the Chinese counterparts, and that will be arranged in due time," the WHO’s technical lead on COVID-19, Maria Van Kerkhove, told a virtual press briefing.
Beijing has pledged the global health agency to facilitate the trip.
"We fully expect and have reassurances from our Chinese government colleagues that a trip to the field — part of the mission — will be facilitated as soon as possible," Michael Ryan, the executive director of the WHO's health emergencies programme, said.
The novel coronavirus was first detected in China's central city of Wuhan in late December, with initial reports linking the first cases to a local wet market.
The WHO has since launched a probe into the origins of the virus. In August, a WHO advance team completed its visit in China, saying that it has laid the groundwork for a larger group of experts that will travel to the zone of the initial outbreak.