GENEVA: An epidemiologist and an animal health specialist from the World Health Organization were flying to China on Friday to try and identify the animal source of the new coronavirus pandemic, reports AFP.
The WHO said the advance team would be in Beijing for the weekend as they lay the ground for a wider mission aimed at identifying how the virus entered the human species.“They’re in the air right now,” WHO spokeswoman Margaret Harris told reporters in Geneva. Harris said there was no set timeframe for their mission. The novel coronavirus has killed at least 550,000 people and infected more than 12.1 million since it emerged in China last December.
Scientists believe the killer virus jumped from animals to humans, possibly from a market in the city of Wuhan selling exotic animals for meat.
The UN health agency has been pressing China since early May to invite in its experts to help investigate the origins of COVID-19.