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China Blocks The WHO Team Probing COVID-19 Origins

by Madonna Watts D'Souza
China Blocks The WHO Team Probing COVID-19 Origins

January 7, 2021

The Chinese government has blocked the WHO-led probe into the origins of coronavirus.

World leaders and medical experts have expressed disappointment at this move by the CCP.

In May 2020, more than 120 nations had signed a resolution demanding a probe into China to investigate the origins of the SARS-COV-2 virus. Drafted by the European Union (The EU) and Australia, several nations like the UK, Canada, New Zealand, Botswana, Russia, South Korea, Ireland, India, Peru, and the entire EU was dubious regarding the origins of the virus, which was first found in Wuhan, China.

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Around 120 countries signed a resolution for the investigation of the origin of Covid Virus.

Global Efforts for Tracing the Origins of COVID-19

A team of ten international researchers and virologists from around the world had been deployed at the beginning of January this year to investigate the origins after seven months. However, while some of the team members were on their way, the Chinese government had blocked them off.

The Chinese officials had not yet confirmed the required approvals for the team to enter. They reportedly said that their passports weren’t approved yet to enter the nation. This had led the world and the WHO to express immense disappointment at their revelation.

WHO Director-General Disappointed

Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesu, the Director-General of World Health Organisation, explained how disappointed he was in the Beijing government. The Director-general, who has rarely criticised China, finally spoke up.

He said, “Today, we learned that Chinese officials have not yet confirmed the necessary permissions for the team’s entry in China. I’m very discouraged with this news, given that two members have already started their journeys, and others were not able to move at the last minute.”

I have been in communication with senior Chinese administrators. And I have once again made it explicit that the purpose is a priority for WHO and the international crew.

- Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesu, Director-General, WHO Tweet
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Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesu, the Director-General of World Health Organisation was disappointed by the behavior of China.

Dr. Mike Ryan is the executive director at the World Health Organization’s Health Emergencies Programme. He revealed his dismay and outlined, “We did not want to put people in the air unnecessarily if there wasn’t a surety of their arrival in China being successful. Dr. Tedros has taken prompt action and has spoken with senior Chinese officials and has fully moved upon them the critical reality of this.”

According to the investigation team, they hope this inconvenience was a mere “logistical and bureaucratic issue,” which could be quickly solved, and soon they’ll be allowed to enter. Currently, one of the two investigation members who were going to China had left to go back home, while the other one is unfortunately stuck in a transit flight to a third country.

Investigating the Origins of the Virus- A Necessity

During the pandemic, several diplomatic nations with China had become strained, especially the US-China ties, which had further turned bitter in 2020. Since July, the WHO has been in talks with China to allow them to enter and investigate the origins as part of understanding the virus even better.

This is frustrating and, as the director-general said, disappointing. That discontent has been revealed very plainly by Dr. Tedros, straight to our counterparts in China. We believe that in good faith, we can resolve these matters in the coming hours and recommence the deployment of the team as hastily as possible.

- Dr. Mike Ryan, Executive Director, WHO Health Emergencies Programme Tweet

Researchers have reiterated how vital it is to explore the origins of the virus. This investigation will help scientists understand how the virus mutated itself to jump and spread itself from animals to humans. The team has also considered understanding how big of a role the live wet markets in Wuhan play in spreading the coronavirus.

Previous investigations had sampled the frozen meat displayed in the market, but none of them showed a prevalence of the virus. The virus’s origins are still unknown, with the top two suspects being the horseshoe bat and the pangolin. It could also be possible that there was no zoonotic (animals to human) transmission, but the patient zero could’ve given the virus back to an animal.

While the origins of the virus are still mysterious, it is quite unpredictable about the coronavirus’s future, despite the arrival of vaccines. The new COVID-19 mutant, first detected in the UK, has led to a foggy lot of the world combating the virus. The best thing we all could say about the situation is that only time will tell.

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