BEIJING — China says World Health Organization experts will begin their fact-finding visit this week in the central city of Wuhan where the coronavirus was first detected in late 2019.
Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said Tuesday that the experts would fly from Singapore to Wuhan on Thursday. Other details of their schedule haven’t been announced and the central government’s National Health Commission offered no further information.
The visit has been expected for months and WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus last week expressed frustration that arrangements were taking so long to finalize. After China announced the visit Monday, Tedros said the scientists, who hail from several nations, would be focusing on how COVID-19 first jumped to people.
An Associated Press investigation recently found that China has been strictly controlling all research into the origins of the coronavirus, and the WHO team will have its agenda and any visits within China approved by the Chinese government. China has dismissed calls for an independent investigation, while promoting fringe theories that the virus may have actually been brought to China from outside.