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Beijing says it’s premature ‘to immediately begin investigation’ into coronavirus origins

Beijing says it’s premature ‘to immediately begin investigation’ into coronavirus origins

China’s Foreign Ministry said on Monday it was premature to immediately launch an investigation into the origins and spread of the coronavirus. Spokesman Zhao Lijian told reporters in Beijing that the vast majority of countries in the world believe the pandemic is not yet over.

The ministry also said separately that President Xi Jinping will give a video speech for the opening ceremony of the World Health Assembly later on Monday.

Health ministers from around the world are expected to call for an independent evaluation of the World Health Organization’s handling of the Covid-19 pandemic during a WHO meeting on Monday, Reuters reports.

Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne on Monday welcomed “international support for an independent investigation of the coronavirus pandemic,” according to AP. The proposed inquiry has been condemned by China and blamed for a bilateral trade rift.