Nepal | August 04, 2020

WHO experts to visit China as part of COVID-19 investigation

ASSOCIATED PRESS
Share Now:

BEIJING: Two World Health Organization experts will spend the next two days in the Chinese capital to lay the groundwork for a larger mission to investigate the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic.

One animal health expert and one epidemiologist during their visit to Beijing on Saturday and Sunday will work to fix the “scope and terms of reference” for the future mission aimed at learning how the virus jumped from animals to humans, the agency’s statement said Friday.

Scientists believe the virus may have originated in bats, then was transmitted through another mammal such as a civet cat or an armadillo-like pangolin before being passed on to people at a fresh food market in the central Chinese city of Wuhan late last year.

In an effort to block future outbreaks, China has cracked down on the trade in wildlife and closed some wet markets, while enforcing strict containment measures that appear to have virtually stopped new local infections.

The WHO mission is politically sensitive, with the US — the top funder of the UN body — moving to cut ties with it over allegations the agency mishandled the outbreak and is biased toward China.

More than 120 nations called for an investigation into the origins of the virus at the World Health Assembly in May. China has insisted that WHO lead the investigation and for it to wait until the pandemic is brought under control. The US, Brazil and India are continuing to see an increasing number of cases.

The last WHO coronavirus-specific mission to China was in February, after which the team’s leader, Canadian doctor Bruce Aylward, praised China’s containment efforts and information-sharing. Canadian and American officials have since criticized him as being too lenient on China.

An Associated Press investigation showed that In January, WHO officials were privately frustrated over the lack of transparency and access in China, according to internal audio recordings. Complaints included that China delayed releasing the genetic map, or genome, of the virus for more than a week after three different government labs had fully decoded the information.

Privately, top WHO leaders complained in meetings the week of Jan. 6 that China was not sharing enough data to assess how effectively the virus spread between people or what risk it posed to the rest of the world, costing valuable time.


Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

NASA astronauts make historic return home aboard SpaceX capsule

US astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley, who flew to the International Space Station in SpaceX's new Crew Dragon, splashed down in the capsule in the Gulf of Mexico on Sunday after a two-month voyage that was NASA's first crewed mission from home soil in nine years. Behnken and Hurley, Read More...

Media urged to refrain from brewing controversy over court verdict, order

Media criticism of verdicts erodes faith in the judiciary Kathmandu, August 2 Nepal Bar Association today issued a press release urging media outlets to maintain restraint about court verdicts. It also said a court should not pass an order or a verdict that creates controversy. “NBA’s ser Read More...

TUTH. Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital, Teaching Hospital, Maharajgunj

COVID patient recovers after plasma therapy

KATHMANDU, AUGUST 2 Plasma therapy was used for the first time in the country to successfully treat a 60-year-old coronavirus patient, in Kathmandu, earlier this week. The procedure was performed at Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital, Maharajgunj. “The patient, a resident of Biratnagar, Read More...

Call to grant rights to reopen schools to local levels

Kathmandu, August 2 The government has been advised to come up with a procedure to pass on the right to reopen schools that have remained closed due to the COVID-19, to respective local governments and schools. While Ministry of Education, Science and Technology is preparing to bring a work pr Read More...

‘People’s voice will be suppressed if journalists lose their jobs’

Kaski, August 2 President of Federation of Nepali Journalists Govinda Acharya said actions such as relieving journalists of their jobs, providing half salary and exerting pressure on them to stay on leave without payment would suppress the voice of the people. During an interaction here today, Read More...

25 per cent tourism workers return to work

Pokhara, August 2 After relaxation of the lockdown to contain COVID-19, normalcy is beginning to return in the tourism sector with workers in this sector starting to return to work after four months of shutdown. Pokhara Tourism Council said 25 per cent workers associated with the tourism indus Read More...

Police vital for ensuring peace: CM Gurung

Pokhara, August 2 Gandaki Province Chief Minister Prithivi Subba Gurung today said that Gandaki Province Police Office had to play a significant role in enforcing peace and controlling crime. CM Gurung handed over keys of vehicles provided by the provincial government to Gandaki Province P Read More...

Snakebite patients up in Bheri Hospital

Nepalgunj, August 2 The number of snakebite patients has increased in Nepalgunj-based Bheri Hospital of late. Snakebite patients were admitted to the emergency and ICU wards after their numbers surged with the beginning of monsoon. As many as 10 to 15 snakebite patients reach the hospital f Read More...