WHO team exits Wuhan quarantine to start Covid fact-finding mission

WHO team exits Wuhan quarantine to start Covid fact-finding mission
Members of the WHO team leave their hotel after completing their quarantine in Wuhan, China. Source: AFP
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Daily US Times: A World Health Organization (WHO) team has emerged from coronavirus quarantine in the Chinese city of Wuhan to start fieldwork in a fact-finding mission on the origins of the virus that caused the pandemic. The researchers were required to complete 14 days in quarantine after arriving in China.

The WHO team could be seen leaving their hotel and boarding a bus on Thursday afternoon. It was not immediately clear where they were headed.

The mission has become politically charged as China seeks to avoid blame for alleged mis management and missteps in its early response to the virus outbreak. A major question is where the Chinese authorities will allow the researchers to go and to whom they will be able to talk.

The mission only came about after considerable wrangling between both sides that led to a rare complaint from the WHO that Beijing was taking too long to make final arrangements.

China has strongly opposed an independent investigation it could not fully control. The country said the matter was complicated and that Chinese medical staff were preoccupied with new virus clusters in Shanghai, Beijing and other cities.

While the WHO was criticised early on, especially by the United States under President Donald Trump, for not being critical enough of the Chinese response, it recently accused China and other countries of moving too slowly at the start of the outbreak.

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