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WHO team to begin coronavirus origins probe in Wuhan

WHO team to begin coronavirus origins probe in Wuhan

WHO team to begin coronavirus origins probe in Wuhan

By Shifaan Ryklief Time of article published 14m ago

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CAPE TOWN – A team of international scientists from the World Health Organization (WHO) have cleared their two-week quarantine in Wuhan, China, and are set to begin the probe into the origins of the coronavirus.

Their mission was initially delayed after two members were denied entry into the country as they had not received the required permissions.

Peter Daszak, a member of the WHO team, shared his quarantine experience on social media.

“Day 14 of our quarantine in Wuhan!! Slightly sad to say goodbye to my ’gym’ & my ’office’ where I’ve been holed up for last 2 wks!!

“Moving into next phase of work now with WHO mission team and China counterparts,” tweeted Daszak.

Day 14 of our quarantine in Wuhan!! Slightly sad to say goodbye to my “gym” & my “office” where I’ve been holed up for last 2 wks!! (Clue – It’s all in the same room…). Moving into next phase of work now w/ @WHO mission team & China counterparts. pic.twitter.com/SC75H70WMK

— Peter Daszak (@PeterDaszak) January 28, 2021

And goodbye to my lovely “dining room” where I catch up w/ US news on @CNN every day (clue…it’s my desk but I sit on the other side to make it feel different!). pic.twitter.com/c5hfzCmW0m

— Peter Daszak (@PeterDaszak) January 28, 2021

Despite being confined to their hotel rooms, the team began working with their Chinese counterparts through video conferences, scrutinising what they know and planning the steps ahead.

Dutch virologist and member of the WHO team Marion Koopmans said in an interview with CNN on Wednesday that they understood the importance of this probe as the eyes of the world would be focused on their results.

“We are aware of it, there is no way around that. That's why we really try to keep focused, we are scientists, we are not politicians, we are trying to really look at this from the scientific perspective," said Koopmans.

“Part of that involves abandoning all preconceived notions about how the virus evolved and spread, to look at what the evidence says, and go from there,” she said.

It's been just over a year since China entered lockdown after the novel coronavirus emerged in Wuhan in December 2019.

While the team of scientists are looking to ignore political influences, the task at hand will not be easy, with countries such as the United States and Australia stating that China downplayed the early stages of the outbreak.

ANA

Original Article

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