Beijing, Jan 7–China is still in consultation with the World Health Organization over details for a visit by international experts to trace the origins of COVID-19, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said on Wednesday.
“We hope that the specific dates and arrangements of their visit can be decided as soon as possible through our discussions. We will timely inform the media as long as we have further information,” Hua told reporters at a regular news briefing in Beijing.
On Tuesday, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a news conference that China has still not authorized the entry of a team of international experts for virus origin-tracing.
“The epidemic situation globally is still severe and in China we are also working to prevent and contain the virus. Our health departments and experts are wholeheartedly in the stressful battle,” Hua said.
The spokeswoman noted that China is still overcoming its own difficulties to advance internal preparations and create conditions for the experts to come to China.
“The origin-tracing is a very complicated matter. To ensure the work of international experts goes smoothly, we need to undergo necessary procedures and make specific arrangements,” Hua said.
She pointed out that China highly values anti-epidemic cooperation and has been open, transparent and responsible on COVID-19 origin-tracing.
China was among the first countries to cooperate with the WHO on COVID-19.
In February and July last year, faced with arduous tasks of domestic epidemic prevention and control, China twice invited WHO experts to come to the country for origin-tracing and formulated the China part of a global scientific cooperation plan on origin-tracing.
In October last year, China agreed with the WHO on the members of the international expert team.
“We had frequent interaction and held four conferences via video link in October and December last year. We candidly talked about our results in origin-tracing and recently we have been adopting a positive and constructive attitude in discussing the origin-tracing cooperation with the WHO,” Hua said.