WHO team visits Wuhan market where first Covid-19 detected

The WHO-led team of experts investigating the origins of Covid-19 visited Huanan market on Sunday, the now-shuttered wholesale seafood centre in the Chinese city of Wuhan where the new coronavirus was initially detected.

The team arrived at Huanan amid heavy security, with additional barricades set up outside a high blue fence surrounding the market, and left in a convoy after about one hour, Reuters reported. The experts did not take questions from journalists.

Since being released from a two-week quarantine on Thursday, the team has visited hospitals and markets, as well as an exhibition commemorating Wuhan's battle with the virus, which included a 76-day lockdown of the city of 11 million.

The WHO, which has sought to manage expectations for the mission, said on Friday that team members would be limited to visits organised by their Chinese hosts and would not have any contact with community members, due to health restrictions.

No full itinerary for the team's two weeks of field work has been announced, and journalists covering the tightly controlled visit have been kept at a distance from team members.

Public access to the sprawling Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market has been restricted since it was shut at the beginning of last year. On 31 December 2019, after four cases of a mystery pneumonia were linked to the market, it was shuttered overnight. By the end of January, Wuhan had gone into a 76-day lockdown.

Experts say the Huanan market still plays a role in tracing the origins of the virus, since the first cluster of cases was identified there.

More on this subject: Coronavirus

Similar articles

  • Taiwan probes the train crash that killed 50

    Taiwan probes the train crash that killed 50

    The prosecution authorities of Taiwan announced they have launched a probe in the train accident which killed 50 people and injured another 178 earlier this week in the worst such disaster in country’s history, Reuters reported. The train was carrying 494 people at the start of a long holiday weekend on Friday when it smashed into a construction truck that slid down a hillside above the tracks, the Taiwan Railways Administration said.

    39