World Health Organization team completes survey of Wuhan virus lab

World Health Organization team completes survey of Wuhan virus lab”

Chinese state broadcaster CGTN said Wednesday the World Health Organization team would "visit the national biosafety laboratory and exchange ideas with experts of the institute on their daily work, global scientific cooperation, anti-epidemic efforts and contribution".

As the World Health Organization team left the institute, a member told NHK they had an important meeting. It wasn't clear what protective gear was worn inside the institute.

The WHO experts stayed inside the institute for almost four hours, before driving away without stopping to talk to media waiting outside.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin on Wednesday told reporters that Canada's explanation thus far was "not convincing".

Canada says it regrets any "misunderstanding", after China lodged a formal complaint over a diplomat's custom Wuhan T-shirt. "China will continue to cooperate with WHO in an open, transparent and responsible manner, and make its contribution to better prevent future risks and protect the lives and health of people in all countries".

The investigators have visited hospitals, research facilities and the seafood market where the first outbreak was identified, although their contacts in Wuhan are limited to visits organised by their Chinese hosts.

The origin of the coronavirus has become highly politicised following accusations, especially by the United States, that China was not transparent in its early handling of the outbreak.

More news: DA Who Wouldn't Prosecute Bill Cosby To Lead Trump's Impeachment Team

A Chinese shop manager who is engaged in the customization of cultural shirts recently made a real-name reporting through WeChat, saying a member of the staff of the Canadian Embassy in China customized shirts with the "Wuhan Bat" pattern in July past year.

China has strongly denied that possibility and has promoted unproven theories that the virus may have originated elsewhere.

The institute has been at the centre of a number of conspiracy theories.

Official statistics shows that there were at least 16 confirmed COVID-19 cases past year among almost 10,000 people living in the area when the coronavirus surfaced. Pinning down an outbreak's animal reservoir typically requires exhaustive research, including taking animal samples, genetic analysis and epidemiological studies.

Most scientists think Covid-19 - which first emerged in Wuhan and has gone on to kill more than two million people worldwide - originated in bats and could have been transmitted to people via another mammal.

China has since reported more than 89,000 cases and 4600 deaths, with new cases largely concentrated in its northeast and local lockdowns and travel restrictions being imposed to contain the outbreaks.

New cases of local transmission fell to just 17 on Thursday as Chinese heed government calls to skip family visits and stay put during the Lunar New Year holiday later this month.

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