February 29, 2024
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WHO team goes to wholesale market in Wuhan during investigation of Covid-19 origin

A team of World Health Organization (WHO) investigators examining the origins of the coronavirus pandemic visited the Baishazhou Wholesale Market in Wuhan on Sunday, said Dr. Hung Nguyen-Viet, a member of the group.

The team of 13 WHO experts were released from their 14-day quarantine on Thursday and have begun their investigations into the virus origins. The team visited the cold storage area of the market Sunday, and talked with market management about how to treat and test imported food, said Nguyen-Viet.

“In the afternoon we will visit Huanan Seafood Market,” he told CNN. “I hope we will talk with market management officials and ask questions about (the outbreak’s) history. We are keenly interested to go there as this is likely where the first linked cases emerged. We know there were more varieties of food there.”

The investigation comes a year after the Chinese city of Wuhan went into lockdown from the pandemic — but some experts have expressed skepticism over just how much the team will be able to uncover.

An earlier report, published in February 2020 by a WHO team in China, found that “key knowledge gaps remain” about the virus. The report endorsed previous findings that the virus appeared to have originated in animals, with the likely first outbreak at the Huanan Seafood Market in Wuhan.