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WHO team to visit China next week to probe Coronavirus origins

The World Health Organisation (WHO) will send a team to China next week to investigate the origins of the virus and its spread to human beings as China delayed in giving information regarding the novel coronavirus outbreak.

The announcement to this effect was made five days ago by WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, on June 29, who had remarked that the world can fight the virus better ‘when we know everything about the virus, including how it started’.

WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in January spoke about an agreement with China for sending a team of international experts to work on increasing the understanding of the outbreak.

As Coronavirus cases and deaths are increasing day by day and has killed over 50,000 people  all over the  World.

In an interview with news agency ANI, Dr Soumya Swaminathan, Chief Scientist, WHO, said that a thorough investigation needs to be done into the origins of the virus. “WHO has been working with the Chinese government for the visit. A team is going to China next week to investigate the origins of the virus,” Swaminathan said.

She added “We need to investigate where and how it jumped from animal to human. It is possible that the virus came directly to humans. However, it is also possible that there was an intermediate animal like in the case of SARS. A thorough investigation needs to be done,”

The Chinese Government has reported an outbreak of “typical pneumonia cases” from Wuhan on December 3, said Dr Swaminathan.

She said that “Our WHO country office in China picked it up and on January 1, WHO activated its international mechanisms which we do as part of international health regulations whenever there’s any new signal gets reported. It is conveyed to everyone so that the whole world knows about it,”

“We do not know more than that in the sense where and how it originated. We know from the virus sequences that it is very similar to bat viruses. A lot of studies have been done in South-East Asia to show that bats have lots of coronaviruses. There are over 500 types of coronaviruses. There are also previous studies showing that populations living in southern China and even in other countries of South-East Asia have antibodies to coronaviruses,” she said.

The WHO director-general spoke on 29 January of his agreement with Chinese President Xi Jinping that the organization would lead a team of international experts to China “as soon as possible” to work with the government on increasing the understanding of the outbreak and to guide global response efforts.

– Davinder Panesar, NMTV News


NMTV was launched in the year 1999, and is Maharashtra only accredited 24-hour, 7-day-a-week local cable news station of Navi Mumbai airing news bulletins and programs in English, Hindi and Marathi. NMTV represents the state-of-the-art in local television news coverage, delivering on a commitment of responsible and community-oriented journalism on an around-the-clock basis.

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