A workforce of investigators led by the World Health Organization (WHO) arrived on Tuesday at an animal well being facility in China’s central metropolis of Wuhan within the seek for clues concerning the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The unbiased workforce has already visited key hospitals, the regional illness management centre and the town’s Huanan seafood market, the place the primary cluster of infections was believed to have originated late in 2019.
The journey was going “really well, excellent,” one among its members, Peter Daszak, president of the EcoHealth Alliance, instructed Reuters on Tuesday, responding to a question simply earlier than getting into the animal well being centre.
As the workforce left, Daszak mentioned it had held “very informative meetings”, however didn’t elaborate.
The centre within the province of Hubei, which fights epidemic ailments in animals, may present info on how a coronavirus endemic in horseshoe bats in southwest China might need crossed into people, probably by way of an middleman species.
Studies counsel the virus may have been transferred from mink or pangolins, however there has additionally been hypothesis that merchants dealing in bat merchandise may have carried the illness for months earlier than it started to unfold in Wuhan.
Peter Ben Embarek, the WHO’s prime skilled on “zoonotic” ailments that originate in animals, was among the many workforce members clad in white fits of non-public protecting gear noticed throughout the centre’s premises.
A employee, additionally carrying protecting gear, sprayed disinfectant on the street exterior after the workforce had entered.
Though most researchers say the illness is most certainly to have originated in China’s disturbed ecosystems, some consider it may have leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, which has researched bat viruses.
The WHO workforce is anticipated to go to the institute later this week.
On Monday, the WHO’s prime emergency official, Mike Ryan, mentioned the investigation may not discover all of the solutions to the origins of COVID-19, calling the mission a “detective story” that raises new questions.
He additionally criticised those that have mentioned they might not settle for the workforce’s findings.
“It deserves the support of the international community and it deserves to be able to finish its work,” he added.
(This story has not been edited by LiveNews360 employees and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)