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HomePoliticsWorldWHO chief 'disappointed' China hasn't permitted entry of Covid experts

WHO chief ‘disappointed’ China hasn’t permitted entry of Covid experts

The WHO mission was billed as a way to cut through the rancour and seek clear answers on how the virus jumped from animals to humans

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A mission of World Health Organisation (WHO) to China to trace the origins of the coronavirus pandemic has run into a roadblock. Head of the World Health Organization (WHO) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus ― himself of a questionable integrity ― is now complaining that Beijing is blocking the team from entering the country.

The WHO chief said he was “very disappointed” with the last-minute bar on entry, in a rare castigation of Beijing from the UN body.

A 10-strong team was due to arrive in China this week after months of painstaking negotiations.

Beijing is determined to control the origin story of the virus, which has killed more than 1.8 million people so far and laid waste to global economies. In the early part of 2020, the WHO’s credibility was questioned after he returned from his China trip and first assured the world there was not much reason to worry. Later, with much reluctance, the WHO declared that Covid-19 was a global pandemic.

The first cases of the coronavirus were recorded in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in late 2019, prompting accusations of chaotic, secretive handling by Chinese authorities which led to its spread beyond China.

US President Donald Trump called the pandemic the “China virus”.

But Beijing has so far resisted pressure for a full independent probe into the early days of the outbreak. Instead, it has seeded doubt as to whether the pandemic even started inside its borders.

The WHO mission was billed as a way to cut through the rancour and seek clear answers on how the virus jumped from animals to humans.

But with some of the team already in transit, Beijing had yet to grant them entry, the WHO chief said.

“Today, we learned that Chinese officials have not yet finalised the necessary permissions for the team’s arrivals in China,” Tedros told reporters on 5 January.

“I am very disappointed with this news, given that two members had already begun their journeys and others were not able to travel at the last minute.”

He stressed that he had been in contact with senior Chinese officials to make clear “that the mission is a priority for WHO and the international team”.

“I have been assured that China is speeding up the internal procedure for the earliest possible deployment,” Tedros added.

The mission was hugely sensitive and neither the WHO nor China had until now confirmed when specifically it was due to start. WHO emergencies director Michael Ryan told on 5 January briefing that the problem was a lack of visa clearances.

“We trust and we hope that this is just a (logistical) and bureaucratic issue that can be resolved very quickly.”

There was no immediate comment from China.

“We were all operating on the on the understanding that the team would begin deployment today,” he said, adding that two members of the team coming from far away had set off early Tuesday, before it became clear that the necessary approvals had not been received.

He stressed the “absolute critical nature” of the mission, acknowledging that the situation was “frustrating and… disappointing”.

The origins of Covid-19 remain bitterly contested, lost in a of recriminations and conjecture from the international community — as well as obfuscation from Chinese authorities determined to keep control of the virus narrative.

Scientists initially believed the virus jumped to humans at a market selling exotic animals for meat in the city of Wuhan.

But now think the market may not have been the origin of the outbreak, but rather a place where it was amplified.

It is widely assumed that the virus originally came from bats, but the intermediate animal host that transmitted it between bats and humans remains unknown.

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दुःखद है कि सवाई माधोपुर में राज बाग के पास सर्वसमाज के श्मशान घाट जाने वाले रास्ते पर ताला लगा दिया गया है, जिससे अन्त्येष्टि संस्कार संपादन में लोगों को भारी कठिनाई हो रही है। @ashokgehlot51 सरकार इस मामले का तुरंत निस्तारण करे अन्यथा जनता के साथ बड़ा आंदोलन करूंगा।

Bangladesh have been bowled out for 330.

What will be Pakistan’s strategy after lunch?

#WTC23 | #BANvPAK | http://bit.ly/BANvPAKTest1

#TwitterSpaces tonight? Its been a while since we last spoke...
#LetsConnect but only for a sensible discussion! 😅
Suggest a topic... Subject : Politics!
Can't be anything else 😂😂😂😂😂😂

Warm Birthday greetings to a sparky fielder & a thoughtful bowler @ImRaina!

You are a gem in the crown of Bharat & wish you all the best in all your endeavors! #HBDRaina

योगेश्वर भगवान श्री कृष्ण लला की धरती पर आने के लिए सभी लड्डू गोपाल के भक्तों का आवाहन करता हूँ।

जो भी लोग 6 दिसम्बर को आने के इच्छुक हैं, या कृष्ण जन्म भूमि उद्धार के मिशन से जुड़ना चाहते हैं। इस नं पर
+91-9044933422 whatsapp के माध्यम से जुड़े।
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