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EXPLAINER: What is WHO team in Wuhan looking for

SeattlePI.com Thursday, 14 January 2021 ()
WUHAN, China (AP) — The WHO team of international researchers that arrived in the central Chinese city of Wuhan on Thursday hopes to find clues to the origin of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The visit has been shrouded in secrecy, with neither China nor the WHO revealing exactly what the team will do or where it will go. The search for the origins is likely to be a years-long effort that could help prevent future pandemics.

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WHY WUHAN?

The industrial and transportation hub on the Yangtze River is the first place the coronavirus surfaced in the world. It's possible that the virus came to Wuhan undetected from elsewhere, but the city of 11 million is a logical place for the mission to start.

People began falling ill in December 2019, many with links to a sprawling food market that dealt in live animals. The growing number of patients triggered alarms that prompted China's Center for Disease Control and Prevention to send a team to investigate.

The disease would ravage Wuhan before it was brought under control in March. The city was locked down on Jan. 23 with little or no warning. The hardships endured and lives lost became a source of both sorrow and pride for residents once the 76-day lockdown was lifted on April 8.

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WHAT IS THE TEAM'S AGENDA?

First they have to quarantine for 14 days, during which they will work with Chinese counterparts via video conference. Possible visits after quarantine are the Huanan Seafood Market, the site of the December 2019 cluster of cases, and the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

Scientists initially suspected the virus came from wild animals sold in the market. The market has since been largely ruled out but it could provide hints to how the virus spread so widely. Samples from the market may still be available, along with the testimony...
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Video Credit: Bleacher Report AOL - Published
News video: WHO team arrive in Wuhan but some were refused entry

WHO team arrive in Wuhan but some were refused entry 03:11

A team of World Health Organization researchers investigating the origins of the coronavirus pandemic landed in Wuhan, China, though two members were blocked from flying to China after failing a coronavirus antibody test. CNN’s Paula Hancocks reports.

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