WHO’s Covid mission in China to give first report

The World Health Organization is expected to provide the first details Tuesday of its fact-finding mission to the Chinese city of Wuhan, where the first coronavirus cases were identified.

The WHO’s team landed in Wuhan last month, more than a year after Covid-19 was first detected there.

The long-awaited trip is part of what will be a lengthy process of piecing together the virus’s origin to answer key questions about the pathogen and how to prevent similar — and possibly worse — future outbreaks.

Two members of the 15-strong WHO delegation of scientists were at first denied entry to China and kept in Singapore after testing positive for coronavirus antibodies, but were later released.

The team arrived in Wuhan on Jan. 14 and after two weeks of quarantine, visited key sites such as the Huanan seafood market, which was linked to an early cluster of infections, as well as the Wuhan Institute of Virology, which has been involved in coronavirus research.

The first cases of a pneumonia-like illness were reported in December 2019 in Wuhan, a city of some 11 million people on the Yangtze River in central Hubei province.

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Reuters contributed to this report

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