The arrangements, however, had previously been agreed upon with China in advance.
‘’I am very disappointed with this news. I have been in contact with senior Chinese officials. And I have once again made clear that the mission is a priority for WHO and the international team’’. WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom told reporters in Geneva on Tuesday.
He said the World Health Organization was eager to get the mission underway as soon as possible. He also said he had been given assurances Beijing was speeding up the internal procedure for ‘’the earliest possible deployment.’’
Where the problem started
There was an issue with the visas and also one of the team members had already returned home. The other member was waiting in transit in a third country.
WHO officials have long been negotiating with Beijing to allow a team of global scientists access to key sites. They want to investigate the origin of the virus – first discovered in Wuhan in December 2019. They also want to determine its likely jump from an unidentified host species to humans.
The United States and Australia have led the charge in criticizing China’s handling of the initial stages of the pandemic. They accused Beijing of downplaying its severity and preventing an effective response until too late.
As the WHO Covid team prepares to embark, Chinese officials and state media have questioned the virus’s origins. They say more and more research suggests that the pandemic was likely caused by separate outbreaks in multiple places around the world.
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