A politically sensitive visit? First a hospital, then a "famous" market

World Health Organization experts continued their research on the origin of the coronavirus in Wuhan today.

Source: B92, index.hr
Foto: EPA-EFE/ Roman Pilipey
Foto: EPA-EFE/ Roman Pilipey

A team of experts should visit the Institute of Virology, and then the market, in addition to the hospital that first received patients with COVID, Index.hr reports.

After leaving the fourteen-day quarantine, the team members visited the "Jinitan" hospital in Wuhan, the first institution that received patients suffering from, at that time, the mysterious virus.

Their exact schedule is not yet known, given that the main source of information is their tweets and WHO announcements, while China is almost silent about the visit, which could be politically very sensitive for it.

However, there is doubt as to how much data the experts will be able to collect more than a year after the start of the pandemic, and with the Chinese authorities known for non-transparency in topics that could cause controversy.

The World Health Organization tried to lower its expectations on Friday.

"I would like to warn the whole world: in order for the examination on the transmission of diseases from animals to humans to be successful, it is not necessary to find the source of the first transmission," WHO Emergency Operations Director Michael Ryan told reporters.

Despite the "very, very dense schedule" of the team of experts in Wuhan, Ryan did not provide too many details about their program, writes Index.hr.

He mentioned, however, the Institute of Virology in Wuhan and a city market where live exotic animals were sold and where the virus could be transmitted to humans. Earlier, the Trump administration hypothesized that the virus "escaped" from the Institute of Virology and infected researchers.

China, accused of reacting too late to the first cases of COVID-19, has been trying to shift media attention to its successful fight against the epidemic since last year.

According to official data, only two people have died from the coronavirus since mid-May, and China has reported 4.636 deaths since the start of the pandemic, in stark contrast to more than 2.1 million deaths worldwide.


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