Team probing Covid-19 origins to visit China on 14 January

Geneva: The World Health Organization (WHO) on Monday welcomed China’s announcement regarding the entry of the team probing the Covid-19 origins.

The WHO team of international experts tasked with examining the Covid-19 origins will arrive in China on 14 January, reported the Reuters news agency.

The WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus welcomed the news and said, “We look forward to working closely with our Chinese counterparts on this critical mission to identify the virus source & its route of introduction to the human population.”

Notably, the WHO chief was recently ‘very disappointed’ after China delayed the entry of the same team.

Today we learned that Chinese officials have not yet finalised the necessary permissions for the team’s arrival in China. I am very disappointed with this news given that two members had already begun their journeys and others were not able to travel at the last minute, said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on 5 January.

This is to be noted that the WHO has been blamed for its handling of the coronavirus outbreak. The United States President Donald Trump in April 2020, had stopped his country’s funding for WHO and said the funding will remain halted till a review is being conducted in the WHO’s ‘role in severely mismanaging and covering up’ the spread of coronavirus.

The WHO failed in its basic duty and it must be held accountable, Donald Trump had said.

Had the WHO done its job to get medical experts into China to objectively assess the situation on the ground and to call out China’s lack of transparency, the outbreak could have been contained at its source with very little death. This would have saved thousands of lives and avoided worldwide economic damage. Instead, the WHO willingly took China’s assurances to face value and defended the actions of the Chinese government, remarked Trump.