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WHO team, on tightly controlled China mission, visits hospital


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WHO team, on tightly controlled China mission, visits hospital

By Martin Quin Pollard and Thomas Peter

 

2021-01-30T081923Z_1_LYNXMPEH0T06K_RTROPTP_4_HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS-WHO-CHINA.JPG

Members of the World Health Organisation (WHO) tasked with investigating the origins of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, visit an exhibition on how China fought the coronavirus in Wuhan, Hubei province, China, January 30, 2021. REUTERS/Thomas Peter

 

WUHAN, China (Reuters) - The World Health Organization-led team investigating the origins of COVID-19 during a mission that has been tightly controlled by its Chinese hosts visited a hospital on Saturday in the central city of Wuhan that treated early coronavirus patients.

 

On its second day after two weeks in quarantine, the team went to Jinyintan Hospital, where doctors had collected samples from patients suffering from an unidentified pneumonia in late 2019.

 

"Important opportunity to talk directly w/ medics who were on the ground at that critical time fighting COVID!", team member Peter Daszak said on Twitter.

 

Team members leaving the hospital did not speak to journalists, who have been kept at a distance since the group left its quarantine hotel on Thursday.

 

"Just back from visit at Jinyintan hospital, that specialised in infectious diseases and was designated for treatment of the first cases in Wuhan. Stories quite similar to what I have heard from our ICU doctors," team member Marion Koopmans tweeted.

 

The WHO-led probe has been plagued by delays, concern over access and bickering between Beijing and Washington, which accused China of hiding the extent of the initial outbreak and criticised the terms of the visit, under which Chinese experts conducted the first phase of research.

 

The WHO, which has sought to manage expectations for the mission, said on Friday that team members would be limited to visits organised by their Chinese hosts and would not have any contact with community members, due to health restrictions.

 

Exactly a year ago, the WHO declared a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC), its highest level of alarm.

 

The group's itinerary has not been announced but the WHO has said the team plans to visit the seafood market at the centre of the early outbreak as well as the Wuhan Institute of Virology. One hypothesis, rejected by China, is that the outbreak was caused by a leak at the government lab.

 

Later on Saturday, the WHO team went to an exhibition centre that features an exhibit commemorating early efforts to battle the outbreak in Wuhan, which included a 76-day lockdown of the city of 11 million.

 

The investigating team had been set to arrive in Wuhan earlier in January, and China's delay of their visit drew rare public criticism from the head of the WHO, which former U.S. President Donald Trump accused of being "China-centric".

 

China has pushed the idea that the virus existed abroad before it was discovered in Wuhan, with state media citing the presence of the virus on imported frozen food packaging and scientific papers saying it had been circulating in Europe in 2019.

 

China's foreign ministry has also hinted that the sudden closure of a U.S. army laboratory at Fort Detrick in Maryland in July 2019 was linked to the pandemic.

 

(Reporting by Martin Quin Pollard and Thomas Peter in Wuhan and Gabriel Crossley in Beijing; Additional reporting by Stephanie Nebehay in Geneva; Writing by Tony Munroe)

 

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-- © Copyright Reuters 2021-01-30
 

 

 

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11 hours ago, Knocker33 said:

What a complete and utter waste of time and money. WHO will not or are told not to find anything 

Probably find a few brown envolopes,trump had the right idea telling who to whistle for their money,seems he could have been right in wanting to put tariffs on chinese imports judging by recent events.

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5 minutes ago, kingdong said:

Yeah and the west are paying for these toadies.

 

Have you read the numerous updates from WHO covering the development of the Covid crisis in PRC? One  has to remember WHO must play a complex diplomatic engagement, WHO cannot 'demand'. The WHO team includes Western experts, including some from the USA, care to name the 'toadies' reporting on PRC? On the other side of the coin if WHO had not been able to get permission to travel to Wuhan to attempt to gain more info, bet you would still criticise.

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43 minutes ago, simple1 said:

 

Have you read the numerous updates from WHO covering the development of the Covid crisis in PRC? One  has to remember WHO must play a complex diplomatic engagement, WHO cannot 'demand'. The WHO team includes Western experts, including some from the USA, care to name the 'toadies' reporting on PRC? On the other side of the coin if WHO had not been able to get permission to travel to Wuhan to attempt to gain more info, bet you would still criticise.

 " tightly controlled"might as well have been denied access if they're not being given free access to wherever and whatever they need to do, "who must play.a complex diplomatic engagement""  "who cannot demand "  , is there a code name for this mission? If not how about " 3 brass monkeys "?"  "Bet you would still criticise" if i possessed your powers to read the future i,d be on the next plane to las vegas.

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2 hours ago, kingdong said:

 " tightly controlled"might as well have been denied access if they're not being given free access to wherever and whatever they need to do, "who must play.a complex diplomatic engagement""  "who cannot demand "  , is there a code name for this mission? If not how about " 3 brass monkeys "?"  "Bet you would still criticise" if i possessed your powers to read the future i,d be on the next plane to las vegas.

 

i expect you haven't a clue what they could achieve on the ground with their expertise. In any case engagement is always better than disengagement.

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1 hour ago, simple1 said:

 

i expect you haven't a clue what they could achieve on the ground with their expertise. In any case engagement is always better than disengagement.

 

Full, open engagement is essential at the start of any pandemic outbreak. Time is of the essence as biological information rapidly dissipates end evidence disappears. International teams should have been on the ground from day one.  Instead, China engaged in yet another classic CCP style information cover-up. 

 

I'm not sure what expertise can do at this point with the CCP controlling their input. If China was really interested in finding the source, assuming they did not already know, they would have been open from the start.

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