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An international group of experts from the WHO will arrive in China on 14th January, to probe the origins of the coronavirus pandemic.  The state television said quoting China's National Health Commission that a team of WHO experts will conduct a field visit to China on Thursday.
 
The team’s visit to China, especially to Wuhan where the virus first emerged in December last year, has become a bone of contention as Beijing, which questions the widely-held view about the virus’ origins in Wuhan, had delayed granting permission the 10-member team of experts.
 
Monday’s confirmation came after WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who is often accused of being pro-China, in a rare instance of criticism had expressed disappointment last week over Beijing not finalizing the necessary permissions for the expert team's arrival.
 
Tedros said he made it clear that the mission was a priority for the UN health agency and it was eager to get it underway as soon as possible. The delay by China to finalize the visit fuelled concerns that Beijing was obstructing global efforts to trace the origins of COVID-19. Reacting to Tedros comments, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying had said that there might be some misunderstanding on this.
 
On January 9, Zeng Yixin, the deputy head of the National Health Commission (NHC) told the media that the exact time of the team’s arrival in Wuhan was still under negotiations. China and the World Health Organization (WHO) have reached a consensus on specific arrangements of the investigation with four video conferences, Zeng said.
 
In May last year, the World Health Assembly (WHA) - the governing body of the 194-member states of the WHO - approved a resolution to set up an independent inquiry to conduct an impartial, independent and comprehensive evaluation of the international response, as well as that of the WHO. It also asked the WHO to investigate the source of the virus and the route of introduction to the human population.

Reports that after more than a year since the first official Coronavirus case was announced in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, a team of experts under the World Health Organization will arrive in China on coming Thursday. China's National Health Commission said in a brief statement that the WHO team would work with Chinese scientists during the trip, without giving further details. Chinese foreign ministry without giving any further details said that China always supported global cooperation on origin tracing of COVID-19.

The probe, meant to uncover the animal origins of the virus which caused Covid-19, was called for, as part of a resolution passed at a meeting of the WHO’s governing body in May last year.
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