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WHO’s team in China ‘interviewed Wuhan scientists’ over coronavirus origins

WHO’s team in China ‘interviewed Wuhan scientists’ over coronavirus origins

A team from the World Health Organization in China, which was sent to probe the origins of Covid-19, had “extensive discussions” and exchanges with scientists in Wuhan, where the outbreak was first detected.

The talks included updates on animal health research, a spokesman said on Tuesday. China shut down a wildlife market in Wuhan at the start of the outbreak, a day after discovering some patients were vendors or dealers. The WHO says the virus most likely came from bats and probably had another, intermediary animal “host.”

Scientists and governments around the world are awaiting the results of the WHO investigation. The Trump administration accuses the WHO of being China-centric and plans to leave the agency over its handling of the pandemic.

The three-week advance mission, comprising two specialists in animal health and epidemiology, was tasked with laying the groundwork for a broader team of Chinese and international experts. They will seek to discover how the virus that causes Covid-19 jumped the species barrier from animals to humans.