Health Desk – 03 Feb, 2021: World Health Organization investigators on Wednesday visited a research centre in the Chinese city of Wuhan that has been the subject of speculation about the origins of the coronavirus.
The WHO team’s visit to the Wuhan Institute of Virology is a highlight of their mission to gather data and search for clues as to where the virus originated and how it spread.
Reporters followed the team to the high security facility, but as with past visits, there was no direct access to team members who have given scant details of their discussions and visits thus far. Uniformed and plainclothes security guards stood watch amid thick morning fog, but there was no sign of the protective suits team members had donned Tuesday during a visit to an animal disease research centre.
One of China’s top virus research labs, the institute built an archive of genetic information about bat coronaviruses after the 2003 outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome. That has led to unproven allegations that it may have a link to the original outbreak of COVID-19 in Wuhan in late 2019.