CORONAVIRUS: WHO sends advance team to China as death toll climbs to 908
The World Health Organization (WHO) has sent an advance team to China to help investigate the outbreak of the deadly coronavirus epidemic, which authorities said on Monday, has now claimed the lives of 908 people.
WHO director-general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who confirmed the departure of the advance team to China said that it took nearly two weeks to get the Chinese government’s green light on its composition on team members for the investigation.
“I’ve just been at the airport seeing off members of an advance team for the @WHO-led #2019nCoV international expert mission to #China, led by Dr Bruce Aylward, veteran of past public health emergencies,” Tedros said in a tweet from Geneva on Sunday.
According to Dr Amesh Adalja, a senior scholar at Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, the team would be able to investigate not only how the virus spreads, but also the severity of the outbreak.
READ ALSO: Ghana quarantines 2 suspected carriers of coronavirus
“There are a lot of unanswered questions and mysteries about how this outbreak is unfolding and how the actions the Chinese government is taking,” he told Al Jazeera. “(The team) will help us risk stratify this for the rest of the world.”
The development comes four days after the World Health Organisation (WHO) said the virus had killed a Chinese doctor, Dr. Li Wenliang who was the first to raise an alarm over the outbreak.
WHO, in a tweet posted on its official Twitter page expressed sadness at the doctor’s death.
It said: “We are deeply saddened by the passing of Dr. Li Wenliang. We all need to celebrate work that he did on #2019nCoV.”
Wenliang died on Thursday at an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) room.
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