Tue, 19 Jan 2021

BEIJING, China - A team of 10 World Health Organisation (WHO) experts arrived in Wuhan on Thursday to investigate the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic, where it began a year ago.

Earlier, China's National Health Commission had confirmed the WHO expert team's expected arrival in a statement on its official website on Monday, reported Sputnik.

The WHO team will be placed under quarantine in accordance with local containment measures, Mi Feng, a spokesman from the Chinese public health agency said during a press conference on Wednesday.

"During this [quarantine] period, Chinese scientists and medical experts will communicate with the international experts through video links," Mi said.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus called the trip a "critical mission to identify the virus source."After a cluster of patients exhibiting pneumonia-like symptoms emerged in Wuhan in December 2019, a new coronavirus was identified to be causing the disease, which later became known as COVID-19, and triggered the global pandemic that infected over 90 million people and killed more than 1.9 million, reported Sputnik.

Earlier, the US President Donald Trump blamed China for the global COVID-19 pandemic by calling the new coronavirus "Chinese Virus".

Chinese authorities placed Wuhan and neighbouring cities in Hubei province under strict lockdown for 76 days following the surge in the pandemic. The outbreak since has spread across the world. (ANI)

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