A crew of WHO specialists investigating the origins of COVID-19 visited a market in Wuhan on Sunday the place one of many first reported clusters of infections emerged over a 12 months in the past.
Members of the group arrived at Huanan seafood market — which has been sealed since January final 12 months — driving into its barricaded premises as guards shortly blocked others from coming into, in keeping with AFP journalists on the scene.
The mission, delayed by China and weighed down by political baggage, has a remit to discover how the virus jumped from animal to human.
However with the fieldwork factor of a visit in its early phases, World Well being Group officers have already downplayed expectations of discovering the supply of a virus which has killed greater than two million individuals and devastated the worldwide economic system.
On Sunday, the WHO crew arrived on the Huanan market as a part of a long-planned journey now carefully monitored by the Chinese language authorities.
The specialists didn’t take any questions and the sprawling market stays boarded up.
Safety employees advised reporters outdoors to depart and shook a tall ladder on which a photographer was sitting for a greater view.
Earlier this week, state media outlet International Occasions printed a report downplaying the significance of Huanan as an early epicenter of the virus, claiming “subsequent investigations” have recommended the market was not the supply of the outbreak.
Chinese language authorities have relentlessly pushed a constructive narrative of heroism and decisive, swift motion of their struggle towards the coronavirus that has spurred an financial restoration and saved deaths right down to 4,636.