The World Health Organization has criticised China after it blocked the entry of a team that is investigating the origins of the coronavirus. According to WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Beijing didn't allow its team to visit Wuhan to investigating the origins of the deadly virus.
Ghebreyesus said that two scientists on the United Nations team had already left their home countries for Wuhan when they were told that Chinese officials had not approved the necessary permissions to enter the country.
"I am very disappointed with this news," Tedros told a news conference in Geneva on Tuesday. "I have been in contact with senior Chinese officials and I have once again made clear that the mission is a priority for WHO and the international team."
The development came amid concerns over China's early cover-up of the virus and the role the WHO played in alerting the world to the public health crisis.
Back in May 2020, the WHO had agreed to hold an inquiry into the global response to the pandemic after more than 100 countries signed a resolution calling for an independent probe.
WHO has been negotiating for long with Beijing to allow a team of global scientists access to key sites to investigate the origin of the virus. The virus was first detected in Wuhan in December 2019.
Tedros said WHO was "eager to get the mission underway as soon as possible" and that he had been given assurances that Beijing was speeding up the internal procedure for "the earliest possible deployment."
The area is of intense scientific interest because it may hold clues to the origins of the coronavirus that has killed more than 1.7 million people worldwide.