Headlines July 5, 2020
Team to visit China to prove coronavirus origins
A team of experts from the World Health Organisation (WHO) will visit China country next week to investigate the origins of the virus and its spread to human beings. This comes amid global concerns that China delayed giving information regarding the coronavirus outbreak.
The visit will take place over six months after the WHO’s Country Office in China noted a statement from the Wuhan Municipal Health Commission about cases of viral pneumonia. WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has earlier said that China had agreed to a team of international experts visiting their country to understand the outbreak.
So far COVID-19 has killed over five lakh people in the world. Cases and deaths are increasing by the day.
Dr Soumya Swaminathan, Chief Scientist, WHO, has called for a “thorough investigation” into the origins of the virus. She said that the Chinese government is working with the WHO for the visit.
The investigation will look at how the virus jumped from animal to human and whether there was an intermediate animal. Dr Swaminathan said that sequences show that the virus causing COVID-19 is very similar to bat viruses.
Speaking to the news agency ANI she said, “There are over 500 types of coronaviruses. There are also previous studies showing that populations living in southern China and even in other countries of South-East Asia have antibodies to coronaviruses”.
There have been reports of China delaying information and warning concerning the novel coronavirus which could have helped in containing its spread in the initial days.
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