WHO advance team ends visit to China to probe COVID origin

WHO advance team ends visit to China to probe COVID origin

The World Health Organization said Monday an advance team looking into the origins of the COVID-19 outbreak has concluded its mission in China, and the U.N. health agency is preparing the deployment of a larger group of experts to the suspected outbreak zone, ABC News reports. 

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the “international team” will deploy to Wuhan, the city where the pandemic is believed to have erupted late last year. Tedros said “terms of reference” have been drawn up by the WHO and China, but he did not specify.

“The WHO advance team that traveled to China has now concluded their mission to lay the groundwork for further joint efforts to identify the virus’ origins,” he told a news conference. “Epidemiological studies will begin in Wuhan to identify the potential source of infection of the early cases.”

He said “evidence and hypothesis” generated from the work would “lay the ground for further, longer-term studies.”

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