China 'must allow transparent investigation' of Covid-19 origin

Downing Street said China must allow a “transparent and scientifically rigorous” international investigation into the origins of Covid-19.

Number 10’s intervention came after the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) said he was “disappointed” that Beijing had not definitively given permission for a team of experts to arrive in China to investigate the causes of the pandemic.

The Chinese authorities said they are still in negotiations with WHO on the details of the mission.

Boris Johnson’s official spokesman said “there are clearly questions that need to be answered” about the origin of the coronavirus outbreak.

WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Tuesday he was “very disappointed” with the delay in the team’s investigation.

In Westminster, the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “As WHO said yesterday, it is disappointing that this important research trip is being delayed.

“It is important that the investigation can proceed immediately and that it is open, transparent and scientifically rigorous.

“We have said throughout the pandemic that it is important that an investigation be done and that remains our position.”

When asked if Mr Johnson believed there was a cover-up, the spokesman said, “There are clearly questions that need to be answered about the origins and spread of the virus, which is why we support WHO’s independent international team of experts doing this will do conduct the investigation. “

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