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The search for answers about the origins of COVID-19 in China

Australia’s Foreign Minister Marise Payne Source: AAP

A team of infectious diseases experts from the World Health Organisation are in Wuhan, China tracing the origins of COVID-19. But the Chinese government continues to tightly monitor access in the region as the world watches the investigation closely.

A team of ten scientists from the World Health Organisation [W-H-O] have arrived in Wuhan, China which was the epicentre of the COVID-19 outbreak.

 The experts will now have to undergo fourteen days of isolation before they can start investigating the origins of the coronavirus.

The group includes zoologists, respiratory and infectious diseases experts.

 Dr Peter Ben Embarek, a W-H-O scientist told Al Jazeera they will be investigating how the virus spread in the city. 

 But the scientists tasked with finding out what is exactly behind a worldwide death toll of almost two million, are expecting the search to be a long one.

 One theory is that the virus was found in an animal, possibly a bat from Wuhan's wet markets which sell live animals.

But Infectious diseases expert Sanjaya Senanayake says finding patient zero will be unlikely.

With cases on the rise around China, the group will also attempt to gain access to the Institute of Virology labs in Wuhan.

 There was speculation from the Trump Administration that the virus came from a leak in the lab.

 But with China tightly controlling the investigation's movement, concerns about access to labs and markets are on the rise.

 Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne says she hopes Chinese officials will do the right thing

 

Australia has been calling for an independent investigation into the origins of COVID-19 since April 2020.

 But the calls for an investigation was reportedly part of the reason China decided to impose various trade bans on Australian imports, such as beef, barley and wine.

Acting Prime Minister Michael McCormack says Australia is always open to communicating with its largest trading partner. 

 For health and support measures currently in place in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in your language, visit sbs.com.au/coronavirus.

 

 

  • People in Australia must stay at least 1.5 metres away from others. Check your state’s restrictions on gathering limits. 
  • If you are experiencing cold or flu symptoms, stay home and arrange a test by calling your doctor or contact the Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080.
  • News and information is available in 63 languages at sbs.com.au/coronavirus
  •  Please check the relevant guidelines for your state or territory: NSW, VictoriaQueenslandWestern AustraliaSouth Australia,   Northern TerritoryACTTasmania.  

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