Publish: 09 Jan 2021, 03:14 pm
On Saturday, China announced that plans for a World Health Organization mission to Wuhan to investigate the source of Covid-19 were still underway, following a rare rebuke by the UN body over the delay of the long-planned journey.
The comments came after he was "very disappointed" by the WHO chief on Tuesday that Beijing had yet to finalize approval, even as the team of experts began traveling to China to investigate the beginnings of the virus, which first appeared in the central city late last year.
On Saturday, National Health Commission vice minister Zeng Yixin told reporters: "The specific time is being determined, and we are ready here."
"As long as these experts complete the procedures and confirm their schedule, we will go to Wuhan together to carry out investigations," he said.
Earlier in the week, Chinese authorities declined to confirm the visit's specifics, a sign of the mission's continuing sensitivity, which has been plagued by delays and politics.
The WHO previously said China had granted permission for a visit by a 10-person team.
"We are currently waiting for WHO's experts to arrive, and have arranged for relevant expert groups to receive them," Zeng added.
He expressed hope the WHO investigations could further understanding of the origins of the coronavirus.
Asked about the effectiveness of vaccination against a coronavirus strain found in Britain that appeared to be more infectious, Zeng added: "Our vaccine has the same neutralising ability against such a mutant strain."
"It seems that the mutation speed of the new coronavirus is still within an acceptable range, and the mutation speed is not particularly fast," he said.
Source: Foreign Policy