China ready to further cooperate with WHO over Covid-19 origin tracing

A healthcare worker in personal protective equipment (PPE) collects a sample using a swab from a woman to conduct tests for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), amid the spread of the disease at a Bus Depot in New Delhi.

China is ready to continue to strengthen cooperation with the World Health Organization (WHO) to advance the global origin-tracing of the novel coronavirus, which was first reported in Wuhan city in December 2019, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said.

Wang made the remarks at a press briefing on Friday while responding to an inquiry about a WHO official reportedly saying that a WHO-led international investigation team would visit China in early January, reports Xinhua news agency.

Wang said that origin-tracing of the virus is an evolving process which may involve many countries and places.

"We have recently read many reports on the virus breaking out in multiple places worldwide last year.

"It proves again that tracing the origin of the novel coronavirus is a scientific task that must be taken very seriously. It calls for scientists to carry out investigation and research worldwide," the spokesperson said.

Wang said that since the outbreak of Covid-19, China has taken the lead in working together with the WHO on origin-tracing in an open, transparent and responsible attitude, and the two sides are steadily advancing cooperation and in close communication on the cooperation and work plan related to origin-tracing going forward.

"We hope that relevant countries will do the same as China does and actively cooperate with the WHO so that we can better prevent similar public health crises from occurring, and be better prepared to deal with a similar crisis when it does occur," he added.

Since the virus first emerged a year ago, the overall number of global coronavirus cases has topped 75.5 million, while the deaths have surged to more than 1.67 million, according to the Johns Hopkins University.

In its latest update on Saturday, the University's Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) revealed that the current global caseload and death toll stood at 75,588,781 and 1,672,826, respectively.

The US is the worst-hit country with the world's highest number of cases and deaths at 17,442,180 and 313,246, respectively, according to the CSSE.

In terms of infections, India ranks second with 10,004,599 cases, followed by Brazil with 7,162,978.

Brazil currently accounts for the second highest death toll with 185,650 fatalities, while India is in the third place with 145,136 deaths.

--IANS

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(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


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