WHO team arrives in Wuhan to probe origins of coronavirus

WHO team arrives in Wuhan to probe origins of coronavirus

Virologists land in China a week later than planned after Beijing delayed approving visas

A World Health Organization team investigating the origins of the coronavirus pandemic arrived in Wuhan on Thursday, more than six months after the probe was launched.

The team of virologists landed a week later than intended after China delayed granting visas, earning a rare rebuke from Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO director-general, who said he was “very disappointed”. They are expected to be in Wuhan for about a month, two weeks of which will be spent in quarantine when the team members will work with Chinese scientists via video conference.

The visit comes as China is facing an outbreak of cases, with 138 new infections and the first confirmed death from coronavirus in months reported on Thursday. Authorities have imposed the most widespread restrictions since last year, placing curbs on about 23m people ahead of the lunar new year holiday next month.

The probe into Sars-Cov-2 has become a focal point for critics of the Chinese government’s handling of the pandemic who argue Beijing has not been transparent about its origins.