WHO team investigates Covid-19 origins in China to educate media

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An international team of experts who will spend a month in China.

Geneva, Switzerland:

An international team of experts spending a month in China to investigate the causes of the Covid-19 pandemic will inform the media in Wuhan on Tuesday, the WHO said.

“The international team working to understand the origins of the Covid-19 virus is ending its four-week stay in Wuhan, China, and will attend a press conference with its Chinese colleagues,” the World Health Organization said on Monday.

The briefing at 4:00 p.m. local time (8:00 a.m. GMT) in a hotel in the city will be broadcast live in English on the digital and social media platforms of the UN Health Department.

The first Covid-19 cases were discovered in Wuhan in December 2019.

Scientists believe the disease, which killed more than 2.3 million people worldwide, originated in bats and could be transmitted to humans via another mammal.

However, so far there are no definitive answers and senior WHO officials have downplayed the chances of the sensitive investigative mission of finding them on the first try.

You said the Wuhan visit is likely to raise many more questions that need to be answered.

Since their first 14-day hotel quarantine, WHO experts have visited a number of high-profile websites linked to the origin of the pandemic, including a fish market where people got sick for the first time.

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A trip to the Wuhan Institute of Virology last Wednesday was one of the most iconic events on the agenda due to the controversial theory that this may have been the cause of the pandemic.

Scientists at the laboratory are researching some of the world‘s most dangerous diseases, including bat coronaviruses, which are similar to Covid-19.

At the beginning of the pandemic, there was speculation that the virus might have accidentally leaked from the Wuhan laboratory, despite no evidence to support this theory.

Then-US President Donald Trump and his supporters picked up these rumors and reinforced them with conspiracy theories that China deliberately leaked the virus.

Peter Ben Embarek, who heads the WHO mission, said the inspectors had “very frank” discussions with Chinese scientists about the cause of the pandemic – including theories that it leaked from the laboratory, he told AFP last Thursday .

Although he did not identify any specific theories, Ben Embarek described some of them as irrational and insisted that investigators waste no time chasing the wildest claims.

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