WHO coronavirus mission to arrive in China this week
A team from the UN's World Health Organization would arrive this week to investigate the origins of the coronavirus pandemic, a year to the day since the first COVID-19 death was announced in Wuhan, Chinese authorities said.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said China had approved the visit and called it an opportunity to "exchange views with Chinese scientists and medical experts on scientific cooperation on the tracing of the origin of the novel coronavirus."
The experts will arrive on January 14, but the WHO had hoped they would be in the country days before. A lack of authorization from Beijing had delayed their early arrival in what the government called a "misunderstanding."
The 10-person team of experts has been tasked with searching for the source of early infections. This has been a sensitive topic in China, amid allegations that Beijing covered up the origins of the virus and delayed its initial response to the outbreak.
Details on the experts' itinerary or whether they will travel to the Chinese region of Wuhan, the early epicenter of the pandemic, have not been released.
Upon arrival, the WHO team will have to spend two weeks in quarantine before being able to work on the ground, DW reported.