WHO’s international investigation in Wuhan not yet ready

The WHO assembly voted unanimously last May in favour of an enquiry. A team of experts has not yet been assembled and the date of their visit has not been set.

Geneva (AsiaNews/Agencies) – The World Health Organisation (WHO) has not yet assembled the group of experts that will travel to Wuhan, where the first COVID-19 cases were reported, nor picked a date for their visit.

Mike Ryan, director of the WHO’s emergencies programme, at a press conference yesterday said that a two-member advance team travelled to China in July for two weeks to prepare the ground; however, they only managed to have online meetings with Chinese experts and authorities in and around Beijing.

The WHO Assembly voted in favour of an independent investigation into the origin of the pandemic and the way the UN body tackled the crisis.

All 194 members voted in favour of a resolution calling for an enquiry “at the earliest possible moment”. However, neither Ryan nor WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus were able to give a date for the start of the mission.

China has been accused of being the origin of the pandemic and its government has been criticised for keeping silent for weeks about the developing crisis and human-to-human transmission.

US President Donald Trump has claimed that the source of the virus is a virology laboratory in Wuhan, probably engaged in the study of bacteriological weapons. China has categorically denied the allegations.

WHO has also come under heavy criticism and its director general has been described as China’s “puppet" for going along with Beijing’s omissions and silence.