China welcomes WHO-led trip to investigate Covid-19, says WHO official

  • WHO officials will travel to China to investigate the origin of the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • WHO claims that China has welcomed the visit.
  • The US called for an investigation into China.


The World Health Organisation said on Thursday that China had welcomed an international team of investigators into Covid-19 expected to travel to the country in early January.

LIVE | All the latest coronavirus and lockdown updates

Babatunde Olowokure, the WHO's regional emergencies director in the Western Pacific, told a news conference that the organisation was in talks with Beijing over where the investigators would travel to within the country.

"WHO continues to contact China and to discuss the international team and the places they visit," Olowokure told the streamed news conference.

"Our understanding at this time is that China is welcoming the international team and their visit...This is anticipated, as far as we are aware, to happen in early January," he said.

On Wednesday, a WHO member and diplomats told Reuters the international mission led by the WHO was expected to go to China in the first week of January to investigate the origins of the virus that sparked the Covid-19 pandemic.

The US, which has accused China of having hidden the outbreak's extent, has called for a "transparent" WHO-led investigation and criticised its terms, which allowed Chinese scientists to do the first phase of preliminary research.

Referring to the ongoing discussions with China over the trip, Olowokure said told the news conference: "These are of course important for us and to get an overall picture of how the investigation will go."


Do you want to know more about this topic? Sign up for one of News24's 33 newsletters to receive the information you want in your inbox. Special newsletters are available to subscribers.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
As a child or as an adult, have you ever been a victim of bullying?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes, at school
55% - 3571 votes
Yes, at work
17% - 1127 votes
No, I've never experienced this
27% - 1776 votes
Vote
USD/ZAR
14.25
(-0.4)
GBP/ZAR
19.87
(-0.4)
EUR/ZAR
17.15
(-0.4)
AUD/ZAR
11.05
(+0.0)
JPY/ZAR
0.13
(-0.4)
Gold
1,794.35
(+0.9)
Silver
26.46
(+2.4)
Platinum
1,219.00
(+2.5)
Brent Crude
66.57
(-0.7)
Palladium
2,874.84
(+4.0)
All Share
67,146
(+0.5)
Top 40
61,399
(+0.5)
Financial 15
12,126
(-0.3)
Industrial 25
86,735
(+0.3)
Resource 10
69,254
(+1.0)
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo