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Since the emergence of the new Corona virus in the Chinese city of Wuhan, which was known as the “ghost city”, at the end of December 2019, the World Health Organization has been seeking to investigate the matter, especially after the accusations that China had concealed the facts of the emergence of the epidemic from the world.
Throughout a year of attempts, Beijing agreed to the investigation, and it was announced last month that the investigation will begin in January 2021, through a team of 10 people of international experts, with the aim of verifying the origin of the epidemic in animals and how the virus transmitted to humans.
But by January, a WHO team was prevented from entering China, when two members embarked on their journey, and then one of them returned, as the authorities in China claimed that the problem was the lack of permits with entry visas.
The head of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said he was “very disappointed” that China had not yet finished issuing access permits for the team “given that two members had already started their journey, and the others were unable to travel at the last moment,” according to “ BBC”.
“They assured me that China is speeding up internal procedures to receive them as soon as possible,” Ghebreyesus added, during a press conference held in Geneva last Tuesday, explaining that he had been in contact with senior Chinese officials to confirm that “the mission has a special priority for the World Health Organization and the team.” International ».
The World Health Organization said the two members of the international team who had already traveled to China began early Tuesday. The Reuters news agency quoted the Director of Emergencies at the World Health Organization, Mike Ryan, as saying that one of them returned and the other headed to a third country.
Some research has suggested that corona viruses that are capable of infecting humans may have been spreading without being detected in bats for decades. However, it is not known what is the intermediate animal host that transmits the virus from bats to humans, according to the “BBC”.
For its part, China denied, on Wednesday, the validity of the reports that the WHO expert team had prevented it from visiting to investigate the source of the new Corona virus, confirming that consultations are still ongoing regarding the arrangements for this visit, according to the Middle East News Agency.
This came in a statement by the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Hua Chun Ying, during the daily press conference at the ministry’s headquarters, commenting on reports that the Chinese authorities prevented the arrival of the WHO mission to its territory, as it did not grant them an entry visa, and that the director general of the organization expressed “ Frustrated »about it.
“The epidemiological situation is still difficult, and there are limited outbreaks in regions in China,” Ying said. “China and the World Health Organization are still holding consultations to ensure smooth progress in the WHO expert team’s visit to China.”
Ying added that the issue is not “just a visa issue”, and that “China is working hard to combat and prevent the virus, and continues to work to overcome difficulties to speed up preparations for the visit, which the World Health Organization knows clearly.”
“In order to ensure the smooth progress of the work of the WHO expert team in China, the necessary measures must be completed, and specific arrangements are required … and China and the World Health Organization are still negotiating about this issue,” Ying said.
Ying pointed out that “there is no problem at all in cooperation between China and the World Health Organization, and China has previously organized two visits by experts from the organization during the past year, in addition to holding many meetings through video technology, and that the cooperation between the two sides will continue, and there is no need to download the issue more than it can bear. ».
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