WHO team set to visit Wuhan in January to probe Covid origins

WHO team set to visit Wuhan in January to probe Covid origins

US has criticised scope and transparency of agency’s planned investigation in China

A World Health Organization team set up to investigate the origins of the coronavirus pandemic is set to arrive in China in January, amid criticism from the US over the probe’s scope and transparency.

Questions of how, where and when the Sars-Cov-2 virus, which causes Covid-19, first began infecting humans are central to scientists’ efforts to avoid the next outbreak. 

More than a year after cases were first discovered in central Wuhan, a WHO-convened team of specialists hoped to arrive China in January, said the global health organisation.

Scientific research into the source of the outbreak has found similar, but non-identical, strains of the virus in horseshoe bats, and one popular theory suggests that the virus was then transmitted to an intermediary host before making the jump to humans. Many details of the process, however, remain unclear.