WHO chief says ‘disappointed’ at China’s delays at letting experts in

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on January 06, 2021

Deployment had been expected to start on Tuesday, but the needed approvals, including visa clearances, had not yet been granted

The World Health Organization, in a press briefing on Tuesday, revealed that Chinese officials have not yet finalised the necessary permissions for the arrival of a team from WHO in China for Covid-19 investigation, an official release said. 

WHO’s Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said: “Over the past 24 hours, members of the international scientific team on Covid-19 virus origins began travelling from their home countries to China. This was as per arrangements jointly developed between WHO, the Chinese government, and countries for which the team was meant to travel through on their way to Wuhan.”

“Today we learned that Chinese officials have not yet finalised the necessary permissions for the team’s arrival in China. I am very disappointed with this news given that two members had already begun their journeys and others were not able to travel at the last minute,” he added.

The Director-General, however, revealed that he has been in contact with senior Chinese officials and once again “made clear that the mission is a priority for WHO and the international team.”

I have been assured that China is speeding up the internal procedure for the earliest possible deployment. We are eager to get the mission underway as soon as possible, he added.

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Published on January 06, 2021

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