fredag 8. januar 2021

China stalls WHO mission to investigate origins of coronavirus

China has attempted to downplay concerns over its refusal to authorise a fact-finding mission to the country by the World Health Organization to study the origins of Covid-19, saying it is still negotiating access with the UN body. A day after the head of the WHO, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said he was “very disappointed” that China had not authorised the entry of the 10-strong research team, led by Dr Peter Ben Embarek, China insisted there had been a “misunderstanding” between the two sides about agreed dates for the visit, adding that discussions were ongoing.

Tedros said on Tuesday that members of the international scientific team had begun departing their home countries over the previous 24 hours as part of an arrangement between WHO andChina, but that he had discovered Chinese officials had still not finalised the necessary permissions.

“I’m very disappointed with this news, given that two members had already begun their journeys and others were not able to travel at the last minute, but had been in contact with senior Chinese officials,” he told a news conference in Geneva.