The World Health Organization, WHO, expressed disappointment Tuesday with the failure of Chinese officials to grant final permission
to an international team of researchers to enter the country to investigate the origins of the coronavirus.
- VOA photo -
Published Thursday, January 7, 2021
China isn't allowing investigation on
covid-19 origins, says WHO
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff and wire services
The World Health Organization, WHO, expressed disappointment Tuesday with the failure of Chinese officials to grant final permission to an international team of researchers to enter the country to investigate the origins of the coronavirus.
At the agency’s regular covid-19 briefing at WHO headquarters in Geneva, Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said he was "very disappointed" that China had not authorized entry of the team, some of whom had begun their travels to Wuhan.
Plans for the trip had been arranged jointly among WHO officials, the Chinese government and the countries for which the team was meant to travel through on their way to Wuhan, Terios said. But the agency just learned Tuesday "that Chinese officials have not yet finalized the necessary permissions for the team's arrival in China."
According to Tedros, he had been in contact with senior Chinese officials. “And I have once again made it clear that the mission is a priority for WHO and the international team. I have been assured that China is speeding up the internal procedures for the earliest possible deployment. We are eager to get the mission underway as soon as possible, ” he added.
China reported the first cases of pneumonia of unknown cause in Wuhan to the WHO on Dec. 31, 2019, and closed a market where the novel coronavirus was believed to have emerged.
Health ministers called on the WHO in May to identify the source of the virus and how it crossed the species barrier.
The United States, which has accused China of having hidden the outbreak's extent, has called for a "transparent" WHO-led investigation and criticized its terms, which allowed Chinese scientists to do the first phase of preliminary research. U.S. President Donald Trump has accused the agency of being a puppet for China during the pandemic.
The coronavirus, which causes the covid-19 illness has not slowed down its spread. In Costa Rica, the Ministry of Health released their latest report about the virus on Wednesday:
• 1,447 new covid-19 cases are reported to bring the total to 37,860 current active cases.
• 22,398 foreign-born people have been infected, totaling 175,038 cases since March, approximately 12.8% of the total cases. Of these, authorities confirmed the death of 32 foreign-born patients. But since October, there is no updated information about foreign-born deaths due to covid-19.
• 584 patients are being treated in public hospitals, where 245 patients are in ICU’s in delicate health conditions (ages range from 1 to 91-years-old). And 339 patients are in recovery rooms. Many of the remaining infected patients are quarantined in their homes.
• 134,911 coronavirus patients have fully recovered, a 77.1% recovery rate of the total cases since March.
• 513,929 covid-19 tests have been performed in Costa Rica since March, according to the Center for Systems Science and Engineering of Johns Hopkins University in the United States.
• 2,267 deaths are listed as covid-19 related, approximately 1.3% death rate of the total cases since March. Of these are 852 women and 1,415 men. The ages range from a 2-year-old to a 101-year-old.
Readers can see the updated number of total patients in each district at the National Distance Education University on its Covid-19 Map.
According to Johns Hopkins University, the pandemic has killed more than 1.8 million people worldwide.
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