WHO investigators visit Wuhan market in hunt for virus origin

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Members of a World Health Organization (WHO) delegation investigating the origin of COVID-19 on Sunday visited a market in Wuhan, China where many of the first infections were reported in late 2019.

Peter Daszak, president of U.S.-based group EcoHealth Alliance and a member of the delegation, confirmed the visit in a tweet, as did a top official with the International Livestock Research Institute.

Daszak tweeted that the now-shuttered market gave off an air of historical significance and expressed sympathy to those in the city who lost their livelihoods as a result of the outbreak.

Team members gave a thumbs-up to journalists covering the visit, but have been prevented from directly meeting with reporters, according to multiple news reports. China’s government has faced criticism from some, particularly during the Trump administration, over the speed and level at which it has cooperated with global health experts seeking to better understand the origins of COVID-19.

China’s rate of new reported COVID-19 cases has remained largely flat for months after the country experienced its initial outbreak beginning in late 2019 and extending into 2020. The country has also begun rolling out several versions of COVID-19 vaccines.

In late December, Chinese officials said the first known case of a more contagious COVID-19 strain thought to have originated in the U.K. had been confirmed within its borders.


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