On January 9, Saturday, China confirmed that preparations were still going on for the World Health Organization (WHO) visit to Wuhan in order to investigate the origins of the COVID-19 virus. Recently, the team was denied entry to China. The confirmation came after the WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that he is "very disappointed" with the news. Two members of the team are already on their way to China and others had to cancel their trip at the last moment.
The arrangements to allow a WHO team to travel to China were reached after months of negotiations with Beijing, however, it seems that the secretive Communist State never really wanted a foreign probe on its soil to trace the virus origin. China has been accused of covering up the true origin of the COVID-19 pandemic, which is believed to have originated in Wuhan's seafood market, allegedly run illegally. After months of denial by Beijing, it was agreed that an international team will be allowed to travel to Wuhan to investigate the origin of the virus, almost a year after the virus first came into the light.
Earlier, it was reported that China has refused to disclose the exact date and other details of the visit, including the places where the investigators will be allowed to visit and people they will be allowed to meet. China has claimed that details of the visit, including dates, were still being finalised internally. WHO chief said that he has been in contact with senior Chinese officials, who have assured him speeding up of the internal procedure for the earliest possible deployment.
Also, currently, China is experiencing a surge in the COVID-19 cases. More than 360 people have tested positive in a growing COVID-19 outbreak south of Beijing in neighboring Hebei province. Chinese authorities have imposed strict measures on two cities in Hebei province, which is very close to Beijing, in a bid to curb the growing Coronavirus wave. People were stopped from leaving the cities of Shijiazhuang and Xingtai as they have been sealed off and transportation has been stopped. Various parts of China are reporting new COVID cases.
Other cases were reported from the city of Yantai. According to AP, China also recorded two cases of domestic transmission in the northeastern province of Liaoning and one case in Beijing. Authorities have urged the citizens to not make “unnecessary” trips to their hometowns for the Lunar New Year holiday amid a rise in the coronavirus cases. Various local governments have also issued a notice asking people to stay home and not indulge in travel.