January 29, 2021 - 15:20 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - A World Health Organization team on Friday, January 29 visited a hospital where China says the first Covid-19 patients were treated more than a year ago as part of the experts’ long-awaited fact-finding mission on the origins of the coronavirus, The Associated Press reports.
The WHO team members and Chinese officials earlier had their first in-person meetings at a hotel, which WHO has said were to be followed by field visits in the central city of Wuhan.
“First face to face meeting with our colleagues. Correction: facemask to facemask given the medical restrictions,” Dutch virologist Marion Koopmans tweeted around 9:30 a.m. (0130 GMT).
“Discussing our visiting program. China teamleader prof Wannian joking about some technical glitches. Nice to see our colleagues after lengthy Zoom meetings,” Koopman tweeted, referring apparently to top Chinese epidemiologist Liang Wannian, who has been a leader of China’s response team.
Members of the team later left the hotel by car, a short time later entering the gates of the Hubei Provincial Hospital of Integrated Chinese and Western Medicine, where, according to China’s official account of its response to the initial outbreak, doctor Zhang Jixian, first reported cases of what was then known as “pneumonia of unknown origin” on Dec. 27, 2019.
WHO said earlier on Twitter that the team requested “detailed underlying data” and planned to speak with early responders and some of the first Covid-19 patients. It also planned to visit markets like the Huanan Seafood Market linked to many of the first cases, the Wuhan Institute of Virology, and laboratories at facilities like the Wuhan Center for Disease Control.