WHO team to reach China next week to probe SARS-CoV-2 source

Updated: Jul 05, 2020, 08:18 IST | Agencies | Geneva

The visit will take place more than six months after WHO received the first reports of 'pneumonia' from China

Children take part in a gymnastics class in Shenyang. Pic/AFP
Children take part in a gymnastics class in Shenyang. Pic/AFP

The World Health Organisation is finally sending a team to China next week to prepare to investigate the source of SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic. The announcement made earlier this week came amid accusations from some quarters that the virus might have originated in a laboratory in China.

"WHO has been saying that knowing the source of the virus is very, very important. It's science, it's public health. We can fight the virus better when we know everything about the virus, including how it started," WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a media briefing.

"We will be sending a team next week to China to prepare for that and we hope that will lead into understanding how the virus started and what we can do for the future to prepare. So we're planning to send a team next week," he said.

US President Donald Trump and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo earlier said that the virus might have originated in a laboratory in China. China has denied the allegations.

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