An international team of researchers has reached to the Wuhan city of China, to investigate the roots of the deadly coronavirus. This virus was first reported in Wuhan nearly one year ago but there was uncertainty about how it was transmitted from animals to humans.
This team is sent by the World Health Organization (WHO) after getting approval from the Chinese government spending months in diplomatic dealings. The researchers estimate that the number of people killed by this virus has crossed 1.9 million, and still there is no confirmation on coronavirus roots.
Reportedly this virus jumped from bats to humans in 2019 from somewhere in southwest China. The Chinese government is under high criticism for not taking proper measures which resulted in the widespread of this disease. Although the government repeatedly said that the virus is non-native and has been brought to China through seafood however international researchers don’t agree with this and call it a local strain.
Scientists suspect the virus that has killed more than 1.9 million people since late 2019 jumped to humans from bats or other animals, most likely in China’s southwest. The ruling Communist Party, stung by complaints it allowed the disease to spread, says the virus came from abroad, possibly on imported seafood, but international scientists reject that.
WHO’s fifteen-member team was to reach China on Thursday but two members of the team were tested positive for the COVID-19 antibodies before they left and were subjected to undergo another test here. Other members of the team have reached Wuhan with full safety precautions and wearing bodysuits.
The team will follow a two-week period of quarantine along with a swab test as well as an antibody test for the virus. During this period, they will start working with the Chinese researchers through online conference calls.
This research team from WHO includes notable researchers from various countries including the US, Russia, Japan, Qatar, Australia, UK, Vietnam, and the Netherlands. There is still no clear information on whether they are allowed to practically look for evidence or not.
Previously, China rejected the international investigation and research offered by WHO after the Trump government criticized China for initiating this pandemic. Australia also requested independent investigation but China retaliated to this demand and put a ban on Australian imports i.e., wine, beef, etc.
There is no information if this single visit by the researchers can confirm coronavirus roots and link route from animals to humans. Normally, an investigation like this takes many years and requires local samples, genetic studies, and epidemiological analysis. More than that, it requires transparency in information and the collaborative role played by the Chinese government, which is still doubtful.
The reluctance of the Chinese government to find out coronavirus roots has stirred confusion worldwide. It has led to many conspiracy theories saying that probably the virus is leaked from the Chinese research lab and was never transmitted from animals.
Nothing is clear at this moment and without a proper inquiry by the WHO team, it is hard to predict the truth about coronavirus roots.