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WHO experts to investigate origins of COVID-19 in China starting Thurs. Updated: 2021-01-12 10:04:27 KST

A World Health Organization international team of experts is due to arrive in China on Thursday to investigate the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This comes after the green light was finally given by the Chinese government,… following prolonged negotiations between the two.

"China is willing to continue cooperation with the WHO and international experts, and contribute to the global efforts to trace the origin of the virus."

The WHO chief welcomed the news on Twitter,… expressing hopes that working together with Chinese scientists will help identify the source of the virus.
The chief also said the studies, conducted by 10 experts, are set to begin in the city of Wuhan, where the first case of COVID-19 was detected.

The health organization also insisted that the mission to China was not a search for "somebody to blame", but to find "scientific answers".
Ahead of the trip, the team stressed the importance of understanding how the virus first spread from animals to humans.
One of the investigators going to China indicated that this trip would better prepare the world against potential diseases in the future.

"There are of course ideas about where the virus originally has come from, most likely bat reservoirs, but can we somehow reconstruct how exactly that had happened, to learn from that for the future preparedness for emerging diseases."

There is a lot of speculation over the origin of the virus, including a recent study from the University of Milan showing that a woman in Italy was infected a month before the first confirmed case in Wuhan.
However, there is hope that the cooperation between the WHO and China, will bring the world a step closer to uncovering the source of the virus which has killed more than 90 million people worldwide.

Choi Min-jung, Arirang News.
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