China blocks WHO research team entry to study SARS-CoV-2 virus origin
Asia Pacific Focus

China blocks WHO research team entry to study SARS-CoV-2 virus origin

China blocks WHO research: WHO stands shocked as its team has been blocked from entering China to investigate origin of SARS-CoV-2 virus leading to coronavirus pandemic. China has cited the reason of visa approvals of team officials, which is still pending, for entry denial. 

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of WHO (World Health Organization) has expressed his disappointment and consternation over China’s disapproval of the global organization’s team. He said, “I’m very disappointed with this news, given that two members have already begun their journeys, and others were not able to travel at the last minute.” 

He added, “But I have been in contact with senior Chinese officials. And I have once again made it clear that the mission is a priority for WHO and the international team.” 

It has been months now that WHO has been trying to send its team comprising of experts from many countries to China. The talks regarding this have been on table with Chinese officials since July. One of the prime objective of this investigative study is to determine the whereabouts of virus and how it leapt through species into humans. 

It has been made clear that the team is going to head to Wuhan to investigate the earliest cases of Covid-19, and not probe the ‘claims’ that the virus was developed in Chinese labs. This baseline has been outwardly criticized by US, as President Donald Trump has been downright blaming China for pandemic. 

Two members of the WHO team who had to travel long journeys have already started their journeys. But later it was made clear that Chinese authorities haven’t approved their visas. Dr. Mike Ryan of WHO said that the team was working closely with Chinese counterparts with the understanding that they will be deployed on Tuesday. One of the two members has returned back mid-journey while other is in transit in a third country. 

The team is hoping the whole development as “just a logistical and bureaucratic issue that can be resolved very quickly.” 

Back in 2002-2003, havoc was wrecked across the world as SARS, another coronavirus, had emerged in China. The global crisis back then laid open the need of transparency and cooperation among nations, and this was the only way through which world could get hold of the situation and emerge from the health crisis. The situation was also well understood by China back then, after which it worked on and reorganized its health ministry and healthcare framework. But the outlook of Beijing in current pandemic is nothing but a ‘closing of mind’. 

The current need of coming together of all countries to fight this global crisis has been overpowered by the geopolitics. The hostilities developed and exponentiated during pandemic is now getting in way of determining the background of virus origin. Geopolitics and trade wars must not get in way of the current need of working together to emerge victorious from the crisis and not let humanity suffer. 

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