World Health Organization (WHO) officials yet again, showered praises on China for its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, citing its “openness” to the possibility of scientific inquiries involving international experts into the origins of the virus.
Dr. Michael Ryan, WHO’s Health Emergencies Programme Chief, detailing on to the “day-to-day” discussions held with his colleagues in China, said that many governments along with the WHO are eager to learn about the animal origins of the virus. He added that he is “very pleased to hear a very consistent message coming from China, which is one of openness to such an approach.”
“Speaking at a news conference in Geneva, Dr. Ryan said that a date has not been set for an international mission to be sent to China to explore the origin of the virus, “but we look forward to doing that as soon as possible.”
WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus had an agreement with China in February over having foreign experts visit the country, but that is yet to happen.
US President Donald Trump has repeatedly slammed the WHO leadership, once even calling the UN health body a “pipe organ” for appreciating China’s efforts in handling the outbreak. Trump has also leveled some serious allegations stating that the virus originated in a lab in the Chinese city of Wuhan and the claim has been refuted by lab officials multiple times.
China ‘open’ to International Effort
Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi had said on Sunday, May 24 that China is ‘open’ to the international effort in identifying the source of the novel coronavirus. The latest development came days after Chinese President Xi Jinping joined a resolution at the World Health Assembly seeking to identify the origin of the deadly disease.
China had blocked any foreign investigation into the source of the virus for months, rejecting claims made by health experts that the virus emerged from a seafood market in Wuhan.