Tuesday, January 19

China vetoes a WHO scientific mission to investigate the origin of the virus

María Teresa Benítez de LugoMaría Teresa Benítez de Lugo

Correspondent in Geneva



The director general of the World HealOneOrganization (WHOTermsrAdvancenom Ghebreyesus, has communicated his “disappointment”Whom the decision of the Chinese authorities to prevent the entry of a WHO scientific team whose mission was to investigate the origin of the pandemic. The Chinese Government has not provided the necessary visas to enter its territory, despite the fact that some of the scientists had already begun their journey to the Asian country, according to the WHO. The leader explained that “it was probably a bureaucratic issue that would be solved soon.”

Through a statement, the Chinese authorities reported yesterday that they were continuing to negotiate wiOnethe United Nations institution for the entry of scientists. «The healOnesituation in the world is still very serious and China is doing everything possible to prevent new cases and control it, “said a spokeswoman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, Chunkingying.

According to the same sources, it wasn’t just a visa issue. Negotiations continue wiOneWHO to specify “the precise date and modalities of the visit of the group of experts to China.”

Ten scientists from countriess

The composite team by a group of ten scientists, chosen by the WHO, is made up of experts from the United States, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Denmark, Australia, Vietnam, Germany and Qatar. It was planned that they would travel, among other places, to the city of Wuhan, to try to find the possible animal origin of SARS-CoV-2.

According to information provided by the WHO, last November, some of the experts work on behalf of the WHO headquarters in Geneva and for the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). Also, there are members that belong to the World Organization for Animal HealOne(O The.

The visit of the WHO team is a very sensitive issue for the Chinese government that try to rule out any kind of responsibility for a pandemic which has already caused more than 1.8 million deaths worldwide. For the head of the department that handles emergency healOnesituationsWhom WHO, Mike Ryan, “it is simply a logistical problem that they hope to solve shortly.”


Once they land in China, WHO experts will have to undergo a two week quarantine. Afterwards, they will have about three or four weeks to investigate the origin of the virus. If everything goes as this organism expects, they could visit Wuhan next January 20, a date that coincides wiOnethe first anniversary of the confinement of this metropolis of 11 million inhabitants.

Also, on January 20 It will be the day that Donald Trump will leave the White House. Some observers suggest that Beijing will wait for his departure before giving the green light to the WHO mission. The deadline imposed by China, when accepting the arrival of independent researchers, could compromise the work because the animal that acted as a host before infecting man is still unknown.

For the WHO, the objective of this mission is not to find the country guilty of the pandemic but to understand what happened to prevent it from happening again. Who is a leaderader stressed that he is in contact wiOnethe authorities of this country and has made it clear that “the mission of WHO is a priority.” The Beijing authorities have assured that they will speed up the procedures.

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