Amid search for coronavirus origin, WHO sending team to China ‘next week’

The World Health Organization said it was sending a team to China next week in connection with the search for the origin of the virus that sparked the global COVID-19 pandemic.

The UN health agency has been pressing China since early May to invite in its experts to help investigate the animal origins of the novel coronavirus.

“Knowing the source of the virus is very, very important,” WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a virtual briefing.

“We can fight the virus better when we know everything about the virus, including how it started,” he said.

“We will be sending a team next week to China to prepare for that and we hope that that will lead into understanding how the virus started.”

He did not specify the make-up of the team, nor what specifically its mission would consist of.

Scientists believe the killer virus jumped from animals to humans, emerging in China late last year, possibly from a market in Wuhan selling exotic animals for meat.