WHO team arrives in China to investigate coronavirus origin

After months of negotiations between the WHO and Beijing, a team of 10 scientists has arrived in the Chinese city of Wuhan to start its investigation into the origins of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Covid-19 was first detected in Wuhan in central China in late 2019.

The team’s arrival on Thursday morning coincides with a resurgence of new coronavirus cases in the north of the country, while life in Wuhan is relatively back to normal.

They will undergo two weeks of quarantine before beginning their research, which will rely upon samples and evidence provided by Chinese officials.

Team leader Peter Ben Embarek told AFP news agency just before the trip that it “could be a very long journey before we get a full understanding of what happened”.

“I don’t think we will have clear answers after this initial mission, but we will be on the way,” he said.

Initially a team of 13 scientists was due to land in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, where cases of the coronavirus were first recorded in late 2019, on Thursday. But two members of that team remain in Singapore, the WHO said in a series of tweets, after they “tested positive for IgM antibodies.”