A World Health Organization-led team investigating the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic will meet Chinese scientists on Friday and plans to visit labs, markets and hospitals in Wuhan, the WHO said.
The team left its quarantine hotel in Wuhan on Thursday to begin field work, two weeks after arriving in the Chinese city where the virus emerged in late 2019.
The mission has been plagued by delays, concern over access and bickering between China and the United States, which has accused China of hiding the extent of the initial outbreak and criticised the terms of the visit, under which Chinese experts conducted the first phase of research.
“The team plans to visit hospitals, laboratories and markets. Field visits will include the Wuhan Institute of Virology, Huanan market, Wuhan CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) laboratory,” the WHO said in a tweet.
The team of independent experts, due to remain for two more weeks in China, will also speak with some of the first COVID-19 patients in Wuhan, it said.