China blocks the WHO mission to research coronavirus origin in China

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The UN panel says that scientists should be sent to the country on Tuesday, but China says ongoing talks are under way.
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China has tried to mitigate concerns about its refusal to allow a fact-finding mission from the World Health Organization (WHO) to research the Covid 19 virus in the country, saying it is still negotiating access with the UN agency. One day after Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO leader, said he was “very disappointed” that China had not approved the entry of Dr. Peter Ben Embarek’s 10-member research team, China maintained that there was a “misunderstanding” between the two parties over the accepted dates for the visit, adding that negotiations were continuing. Tedros said Tuesday that, under an agreement between WHO and China, members of the international science team had started leaving their home countries in the past 24 hours, but that he had found that Chinese officials had not yet given the requisite permits. He told a news conference in Geneva, “I am very disappointed with this news, considering that two members had already started their journey and others were unable to travel at the last minute, despite being in contact with high-level Chinese officials,” Origin story: What do we know now about where the coronavirus came from? Read more Despite a global scientific consensus that Covid-19 first jumped from animals to humans in China, China’s apparent obstruction of the mission, which WHO defines as a priority, comes amid the country’s attempts to reshape the narrative about the origin of the disease. At a daily news conference in Beijing, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said the problem was for the team “not just about visas” Asked regarding news that a date had been settled upon, she said there was a “misunderstanding” and there were still negotiations on scheduling and other arrangements between the two parties. “The problem of origin is very complicated. We need to carry out the requisite procedures and corresponding specific plans to ensure that the work of the global expert group in China is successful.

At present, this is still being discussed by both sides,’ said Hua. I know that this is not just a visa problem, but also the actual date and itinerary.

In the Chinese city of Wuhan, the novel coronavirus was first identified in late 2019 and has since spread worldwide. Much remains unclear about its source, and China is vulnerable to claims that it should have done more to avoid the pandemic in its early stages. The question of the origins of the virus has been massively politicized, not least by the Trump administration and attempts to research them.

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