WHO team visits Wuhan lab at the center of coronavirus conspiracies, likely to meet staff

The visit to the Wuhan Institute of Virology was one of the highlights of the WHO mission in order to gather data and search for clues as to where the COVID virus originated and how it spread

The Associated Press February 04, 2021 16:56:40 IST
WHO team visits Wuhan lab at the center of coronavirus conspiracies, likely to meet staff

A security person moves journalists away from the Wuhan Institute of Virology after a WHO team arrived for a field visit in Wuhan. AP

Wuhan: World Health Organization investigators on Wednesday visited a research center in the Chinese city of Wuhan that has been the subject of speculation about the origins of the coronavirus , with one member saying they’d intended to meet key staff and press them on critical issues.

The WHO team’s visit to the Wuhan Institute of Virology was a highlight of their mission to gather data and search for clues as to where the virus originated and how it spread.

"We’re looking forward to meeting with all the key people here and asking all the important questions that need to be asked," zoologist and team member Peter Daszak said, according to footage run by Japanese broadcaster TBS.

Reporters followed the team to the high security facility, but as with past visits, there was little direct access to team members, who have given scant details of their discussions and visits thus far. Uniformed and plainclothes security guards stood watch along the facility’s gated front entrance, but there was no sign of the protective suits team members had donned Tuesday during a visit to an animal disease research center. It wasn’t clear what protective gear was worn inside the institute.

The team left after around three hours without speaking to waiting journalists.

At a daily briefing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said the experts also held talks Wednesday with experts from Huazhong Agricultural University.

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