WHO team to investigate origin of Covid-19text_fields
A team of World Health Organization (WHO) investigators complete their two-week quarantine in Wuhan, China, and begin to probe into the novel Coronavirus's origin.
The arrival of the team in China had been long delayed due to concerns over access and terms of reference of research which led to months-long negotiations between WHO and Beijing. China initially had vehemently opposed an independent investigation that is not done under its control.
The 13 member investigation team arrived in Wuhan on January 14 and was in a 14-day quarantine which ended on Thursday. The investigation method and scrutiny will be immense as the team hopes to conduct thorough research into the virus's origin and interview the people from research institutes, hospitals, and even sea-food markets, etc. There have been several conspiracy theories regarding the origin of the virus, from having entered through frozen food items, or through ill-treatment of animals.
Though Covid-19 was first detected in Wuhan, China has allegedly denied it. Other nations, particularly the US and Australia, had blamed China and the WHO for downplaying the magnitude of the outbreak in its early stages and delaying its containment during the initial stages. There have been several odd reports of strains of the virus having been traced in the sewers in France as early as 2019 November as well.
There is a hovering scepticism of how much the investigators will be able to find from their research that begins after a year of the pandemic and particularly when the entire city has been sanitized to get rid of any trace of the virus. The extent to which the Chinese authorities will cooperate with the investigation is also uncertain.