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WHO advance team concludes China groundwork mission to identify COVID-19 origins

Top News2020-08-04


The advance team in China has concluded their efforts to prepare mission into origins of the new coronavirus, World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Monday. 

"The WHO advance team that travelled to China has now concluded their mission to lay the groundwork for further joint efforts to identify the virus origins," Tedros said at a virtual media briefing. "As a result of these efforts, WHO and Chinese experts have drafted the Terms of Reference for the studies and programme of work for an international team, led by WHO. The international team will include leading scientists and researchers from China and around the world."

Epidemiological studies will begin in Wuhan to identify the potential source of infection of the early cases, according to Tedros. 

The two-member WHO experts team arrived in China in mid-July for research on the source of the new coronavirus.

But the experts are yet to return from China, Michael Ryan, executive director of the Health Emergencies Program of the WHO told reporters, adding the terms of reference have been agreed on with Chinese health experts.

So far, over 18 million infections of the new coronavirus have been recorded globally with many countries still experiencing staggering daily increases of confirmed cases.

Tedros said that there might never be a "silver bullet" answer to the new coronavirus but people and countries should not give up.

"The time is always right to do what's right. We shouldn't give up. It's never too late and it can be turned around," Tedros said.


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