WHO to arrive in Wuhan on Thursday for COVID-19 origin mission

A team of World Health Organization (WHO) scientists are expected to arrive in the central Chinese city of Wuhan on Thursday for further investigation into the origins of the COVID-19 outbreak, said the WHO and Chinese authorities.

"China supports scientists from various countries in conducting global scientific research on the origins and transmission routes of the novel coronavirus," said Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Zhao Lijian on Monday. China "supports cooperation on identifying zoonotic sources by member states led by the WHO," he added.

According to China's National Health Commission, the WHO team will need to go through relevant quarantine procedures required under China's epidemic control measures.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the organization is glad to collaborate with Beijing in further COVID-19 research. He said on Monday that he hopes to see a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine out as fast as possible and "a fair allocation" process.

The WHO chief also urged for unity during this hard time, calling on all countries to share the genetic sequence and relevant data for research into COVID-19 variants.

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