The virus was first detected in Wuhan in late 2019. A report earlier this week said it was unclear whether WHO experts would visit the city during their investigation.
“The visit to Wuhan will be included in the itinerary,” a spokesperson for the WHO told Fox News via email late Monday.
China also confirmed the visit to Wuhan. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said the experts will arrive in the city on Thursday. Other details of their schedule haven’t been announced and the central government’s National Health Commission offered no further information.
The visit has been expected for months. WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus expressed frustration last week that arrangements were taking so long to finalize. After China announced the visit Monday, Tedros said the scientists, who come from several nations, will focus on how the coronavirus first jumped to people.
“Studies will begin in Wuhan to identify the potential source of infection of the early cases,” Tedros said.
China has rejected calls for an independent investigation while strictly controlling all research into the origins of the coronavirus and promoting fringe theories that the virus may have actually been brought to China from outside.
As of Tuesday morning, more than 91 million coronavirus cases have been diagnosed worldwide, at least 22.6 million of which are in the U.S., according to Johns Hopkins University data. COVID-19 has accounted for more than 1.9 million deaths around the world, 376,295 of which are in the U.S.
Fox News’ Peter Aitken and the Associated Press contributed to this article.
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