WHO team in Wuhan visits provincial disease control center

WHO team in Wuhan visits provincial disease control center
Members of the World Health Organization team prepare to leave for a fourth day of field visits from their hotel in Wuhan in central China's Hubei province on Monday, Feb. 1, 2021. Source: AP Photo
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Daily US Times: A World Health Organization team investigating Coronavirus origins has visited a provincial disease control center that had an early hand in managing the outbreak.

Last month, the investigators arrived in the Wuhan, capital of central Hubei province, to look for clues and have visited hospitals that treated many of the earliest Covid-19 patients and a seafood market where cases of virus infection with the then-unknown virus emerged in December 2019.

On Monday, the team’s visit to the Hubei Provincial Center for Disease Control. The visit came amid tight Chinese controls on access to information about the virus.

China has sought to avoid blame for alleged missteps in controlling the virus in its early days, while promoting alternative theories that the the pandemic originated elsewhere and may have even been brought to Wuhan from outside the country.

Following the visit, Peter Daszak, a member of the team, told reporters it had been a “really good meeting, really important.” No other details were given.

The evidence the team assembles will add to what is expected to be a years-long quest for answers. Pinning down an outbreak’s animal reservoir requires massive amounts of research including taking animal samples, genetic analysis and epidemiological studies.

China has largely curbed domestic transmission through strict testing and contact tracing. Wearing mask in public is observed almost universally and lockdowns are routinely imposed on communities and even entire cities where cases are detected.

The latest outbreaks of coronavirus have been mostly in the frigid northeast, with 33 new cases reported nationally Monday in three provinces.

China recorded more than 2,000 new local cases of coronavirus in January, the highest monthly total since the final phase of the initial outbreak in Wuhan last March.

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