Daily US Times: A team of 10 international scientists will visit Wuhan next month to investigate coronavirus origins, the World Health Organization (WHO) has said.
It is widely believed that the coronavirus origins from the Chinese city of Wuhan. China has been reluctant to agree to an independent inquiry about the origin of the virus and it has taken many months of negotiations for the WHO to be allowed access to the city.
The virus is thought to have come from a market in Wuhan selling animals, ut the search for the source has led to tensions, notably with the United States.
The US has accused China of trying to conceal the initial outbreak.
What is the aim of the investigation?
Fabian Leendertz of Germany’s Robert Koch Institute said is one of the scientists on the team travelling to Wuhan, told the Associated Press (AP) news agency that the WHO was not seeking to apportion blame, but rather to prevent future outbreaks.
“It’s really not about finding a guilty country,” Mr Leendertz said.
He said: “It’s about trying to understand what happened and then see if, based on those data, we can try to reduce the risk in the future.”
Dr Leendertz said the aim was to find out when the virus started circulating and whether or not it originated in Wuhan.
He added that the mission was expected to last four or five weeks.
In the early days of the virus, it was traced to a so-called “wet market” in the city of Wuhan, located in Hubei province, and it was suggested that this was where it made the leap from animals to humans.