Chinese Authorities said visas have not yet been approved for the World Health Organization delegation visiting Wuhan.
WHO has been trying to send a team of global experts from different countries for several months. It has been in contact with Chinese officials since July. Scientists have long said it is essential to find out how the virus made the species jump to humans.
According to The Guardian, the Chinese government blocked the arrival of a World Health Organization team investigating the origins of the coronavirus pandemic, saying visas had not yet been approved when two members of the team were already traveling.
The World Health Organization has been trying to send a team of global experts from different countries for several months. It has been in contact with Chinese officials since July. Scientists have long said it is essential to find out how the virus made the species jump to humans.
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus expressed dismay and said he urged China to let the team in.
“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. But I have been in contact with senior Chinese officials. And I have once again made made it clear that the mission is a priority for WHO and the international team,” Tedros said.
The expedition was headed to Wuhan to investigate the first cases.
WHO’s Dr. Mike Ryan said the team worked closely with Chinese colleagues to plan the mission, criticized by the United States, which called it “inconsistent.”
Ryan said two members of the team were already traveling, and it is unclear why their visas were not approved by Chinese authorities.
The team hoped it was “just a logistical and bureaucratic issue that could be resolved very quickly.”
“This is frustrating and, as the director general said, disappointing. That disappointment has been expressed very clearly by Dr Tedros directly to our counterparts in China. We trust that in good faith, we can solve these issues in the coming hours and recommence the deployment of the team as urgently as possible,” said Ryan.