Members of the World Health Organization (WHO) visited a food market in Wuhan as part of an investigation into the coronavirus outbreak.
The team that looked at the origins of the coronavirus pandemic visited the so-called food distribution center in the Chinese city of Wuhan during its lockdown.
WHO members were seen walking through parts of Baishazhou Market – one of the largest wet markets in Wuhan – surrounded by a large entourage of Chinese officials and officials.
Members with expertise in veterinary, virology, food safety and epidemiology have so far visited two hospitals at the center of the early outbreak: the Wuhan Jinyintan Hospital and the Hubei Integrated Chinese and Western Medicine Hospital.
On Saturday, they also attended a museum exhibition dedicated to the early history of Covid-19.
WHO said on Twitter the team plans to visit hospitals and markets such as the Huanan Seafood Market, which has been linked to many of the first cases.
They also listed the Wuhan Virology Institute and laboratories in facilities like the Wuhan Disease Control Center as the places to visit.
The mission is politically charged as China tries to avoid blame for alleged missteps in its early response to the outbreak.
A single visit from scientists is unlikely to confirm the origin of the virus.
Holding on to the animal reservoir of an outbreak is usually a large-scale endeavor that requires years of research, including animal samples, genetic analysis, and epidemiological studies.
One possibility is that a wildlife poacher passed the virus on to traders who brought it to Wuhan.
The Chinese government has put forward theories with little evidence that the outbreak may have started with imports of virus-infected frozen seafood, a notion that has been flatly rejected by international scientists and agencies.
One possible focus for researchers is the Wuhan Institute of Virology, which has compiled an archive of genetic information on bat coronavirus after the SARS outbreak in 2003 or Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome.