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China finally approves entry of WHO experts on mission to probe origin of COVID-19

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Concerned authorities in China have finally approved the entry of a team of experts of the World Health Organisation (WHO) who are on a mission to investigate the origin of the dreaded COVID-19 virus.

The approval was issued on Monday by the Chinese National Health Commission, which announced that the WHO team will arrive in China on January 14 but did not elaborate on the team’s itinerary.

“The current COVID-19 pandemic shows the devastating impact emerging zoonotic diseases can have on societies,” the WHO team’s study terms of reference read. “As the pandemic continues to unfold, understanding how the epidemic began is essential to prevent further SARS-CoV-2 virus introductions and help prevent introductions of new viruses in the future.”

READ ALSO: China brands US claim COVID-19 originated in a Chinese lab ‘insane’

The WHO Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, had earlier told a news conference in Geneva, Switzerland, that he was “very disappointed” that China has not approved the entry of the international experts.

Ghebreyesus said last week that their arrival was delayed because Beijing had not authorised their entry.

He said that two members of the strong international team had already begun their journey to China when it emerged that they had not been granted entry by Chinese authorities.

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