WHO to investigate coronavirus origins in China this week, a year after outbreak began

Virus Outbreak China WHO
Posted at 10:08 AM, Jan 11, 2021

BEIJING (AP) — China says a group of experts from the World Health Organization is due to arrive Thursday for an investigation into the origins of the coronavirus pandemic.

A one-sentence announcement from the National Health Commission said the experts will meet with Chinese counterparts but gave no other details.

It wasn’t immediately clear whether they will visit the central Chinese city of Wuhan, where the coronavirus was first detected in late 2019.

Negotiations for the visit have long been underway, and WHO's director-general expressed disappointment last week over delays.

Last week marked one year since WHO announced the outbreak of the new coronavirus in Wuhan. And, Monday marks one year since Chinese state media reported the first known death from COVID-19 in the Asian country. China said it was a 61-year-old man.

Since the coronavirus began to spread to different countries early last year, more than 90 million people have tested positive for the virus worldwide and at least 1.9 million have died after contracting it, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.

The United States continues to lead the world in cases and deaths, with the tally showing more than 22.4 million cases confirmed across the nation and over 374,340 deaths as of Monday.