China has reassured that it would allow international experts to get inside the country in order to investigate the animal origins of COVID-19, World Health Organization said on November 23. The UN agency, in July, had sent a team of experts to lay the groundwork for investigation. However, it has remained unclear whether international scientists would be allowed inside China to conduct epidemiological studies and identify the first human cases of COVID-19 and source of infection.  

But Michael Ryan, WHO emergency director, speaking at a virtual press conference said that they have got reassurance from the Chinese government that their “trip to field” would be facilitated and be held as soon as possible. “We need to be able to have the international team join our Chinese colleagues… and look at the results and the outcomes of (their) studies and verify the data on the ground,” he added.

Scientists across the world believe that the virus jumped from bats to humans in a market selling exotic meat in Wuhan. However, lately, many have opined that the COVID-19 may have emerged at a place where the infection was amplified. Many experts also believe that intermediate host animals such as pangolins might have expedited the spread.

WHO has been trying to send a team to China since the beginning of the outbreak, however, it has been stalled owing to denial of permissions by China’s communist government. However, with the recent reassurance, experts are now hoping to find the origin of the COVID-19 virus which has killed over 1396359 people across the world with over 257671 only in America.