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WHO will investigate Covid-19 origins in Wuhan

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WHO will investigate Covid-19 origins in Wuhan
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Geneva: The World Health Organization (WHO) is set to puzzle out mystery surrounding the origins of covid -19.

A team of international scientists will travel next month to China's Wuhan where the pandemic was first reported.

Reports back then traced its origin to a 'wet market' in the city forming part of Hubei province.

The viral infection is believed to have been leapt from animals to humans, before sending humanity indoors.

Its origins have not yet been confirmed; also, now experts believe it may simply have been amplified there.

The WHO was not seeking to apportion blame, but rather to prevent future outbreaks says team member, according to BBC.

"It's really not about finding a guilty country," Fabian Leendertz of Germany's Robert Koch Institute 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."

Beijing has been reluctant to allow an independent inquiry. It has taken many months of negotiations before the WHO is allowed access to the city.

As well causing catastrophe, the virus played out politically too, with the US President Trump calling it Chinese virus.

Alongside, the Trump administration accused China of trying to conceal the initial outbreak.

Leendertz said the aim was to find out when the virus began circulating and whether or not it originated in Wuhan.

The mission was expected to last four or five weeks, he added.

Research suggests that coronaviruses capable of infecting humans may have been circulating undetected in bats for decades.

Last December, a Chinese doctor at Wuhan Central Hospital - Li Wenliang - tried to warn fellow medics about a possible outbreak of a new disease, but was told by police to "stop making false comments" and was investigated for "spreading rumours".

Li died in February after contracting the virus while treating patients in the city.

IANS report with edits

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TAGS:Covid-19 updates 
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