Bored WHO experts jetted in to probe China's Covid cover-up tweet pics of their hotel breakfast in isolationJanuary 19, 2021
BORED members of a World Health Organisation team in China to investigate the coronavirus pandemic are tweeting pictures of their fruit bowls and views from their hotel rooms.
The team – who are not expected to visit a controversial lab thought to be the source of the bug which has left two million dead – arrived at the outbreak epicentre in Wuhan last week.
The thirteen experts – including Britain's former Deputy Chief Medical Officer Professor John Watson – are holed up in a hotel until the end of the month.
However, there have been doubts as to what they will actually achieve, as they have been forbidden from visiting the top-secret Wuhan Institute of Virology.
China has been accused of covering up the scale of the pandemic and an ITV documentary last night showed doctors admitting they had been gagged by officials.
Yesterday Professor Marion Koopmans, from Holland, who is on the WHO team, posted a picture of a fruit bowl and view from her hotel window.
That was in response to another Briton on the team Peter Daszak uploading a picture on Twitter of the sunrise and his breakfast.
He told her: ''That's great Marion – it's like a virtual trip around our quarantine hotel…''
Their social media postings emerged just as the WHO's Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response criticised China for it's slow reaction to the virus and said the ''largely hidden epidemic contributed to the global spread''.
Dr Daszak's inclusion on the team has caused controversy after it emerged his charity had links with the Wuhan Institute of Virology, where the virus is thought to have escaped from late in 2019.
The head of the EcoHealth Alliance Dr Daszak, who is originally from Manchester, has vehemently defended the lab and has rubbished any suggestions the virus may have come from a leak.
On Sunday Conservative MP Sir Iain Duncan Smith – who has demanded a full investigation into the lab – wrote in The Sun: ''How can we have any faith in the World Health Organisation, whose existing investigation team hasn't even asked to inspect the Wuhan laboratory?
''So rather than upset the Chinese government, they just sit in isolation in lockdown in China, looking more and more pointless and not a little lost.
"Their record in holding China to account from the beginning of the coronavirus crisis has been terrible.''
Last week officials at the WHO HQ in Geneva tersely replied they would ''not be giving a day to day commentary'' on what the team was doing in Wuhan.
All thirteen members tested negative on arrival in Wuhan and have been having regular tests.
However, they are not allowed out and are thought to be simply holding Zoom meetings with Chinese officials.
Two members of the team were prevented from flying to Wuhan from Singapore last week, after they showed ''covid symptoms'' but the pair are expected to join the group later.
Last night the US called on China to allow the WHO team access to "care givers, former patients and lab workers" in the central city of Wuhan, as well as medical data and samples.
The US State Department claimed on Friday that there was reason to believe several researchers from the Wuhan lab became sick in the autumn of 2019 – several weeks before China confirmed cases.
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