A World Health Organization team of experts probing the origins of the pandemic is set to arrive in Wuhan on Thursday as per the plan, amid a spike in new COVID cases in China.
The team will undergo quarantine when they reach Wuhan, in central Hubei Province, a National Health Commission official said at the press conference on Wednesday.
Also, China actively pursued to shift the narrative that COVID originated elsewhere, amid allegations on the World Health Organisation’s role, especially in the beginning of the pandemic. Since then, many theories came about the origins of the coronavirus and much remains to be known.
It will be a joint investigation by WHO and Chinese scientists and not much details have been published about the action plan.
NHC said on Wednesday that Chinese mainland on Tuesday reported 115 newly confirmed COVID-19 cases, the biggest daily number in months, of whom 107 were locally transmitted.
Of the locally transmitted cases, 90 were reported in the hardest hit Hebei Province neighboring Beijing, 16 in Heilongjiang Province and one in Shanxi Province, the commission said in its daily report. In addition, 38 new asymptomatic cases were also reported which China does not classify as confirmed cases. Sunday also saw a high number of cases, with 103 new cases.
The number of new cases reported in recent days are less as compared to last year’s outbreak, however, recent wave of infections comes ahead of next month’s Lunar New Year holiday, when hundreds of millions of Chinese typically travel to their home towns.
Far fewer people are expected to travel this year, and many provinces have asked migrant workers to stay put during the break. Heilongjiang province on Wednesday declared a COVID-19 emergency. The city of Suihua, which borders the provincial capital Harbin, put its 5.2 million people under lockdown.
Meanwhile, to guard the capital Beijing against the recent outbreaks in neighboring Hebei, Beijing city authorities have stepped up screening and prevention measures to prevent another cluster from developing there.State media said that the latest outbreak has the hallmark of long-duration, speedy-transmission, and centering in rural regions.
Community and multi-generation virus transmission are also spotted. It reported that authorities have warned about weak supervision and control measures in some villages, after the latest wave in Hebei’s villages. Three-level anti-epidemic response mechanism will be rolled out in China’s vast villages, to improve epidemic control and prevention.