“Today, we learned that Chinese officials have not yet finalized the necessary permissions for the team’s arrival in China. I’m very disappointed with this news, given that two members had already begun their journeys and others were not able to travel at the last minute, but had been in contact with senior Chinese officials,” Tedros said during a news conference in Geneva.
The WHO boss said that he had “made it clear” that the mission was a priority for the United Nations health agency and that he was “assured that China is speeding up the internal procedures for the earliest possible deployment.”
“We are eager to get the mission underway as soon as possible,” he said.
The WHO has been working to send a 10-person team of international experts to China for months with the aim of probing the animal origin of the pandemic and exactly how the virus first crossed over to humans.
The long-awaited probe was agreed upon by Beijing in December after many months of negotiations with the WHO, reported BBC.
The virus was first detected in Wuhan in late 2019.