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WHO chief pushes China for ‘full access’ to determine COVID’s origins - FT

WHO's Tedros visits mRNA vaccine technology transfer site in Cape Town

(Reuters) - The chief of the World Health Organization urged Beijing to offer more information on the origins of COVID-19 and is ready to send a second team to probe the matter, the Financial Times reported on Sunday.

"We're pressing China to give full access, and we are asking countries to raise it during their bilateral meetings — to urge Beijing to co-operate," WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told the newspaper.

The WHO chief's comments come as health authorities and pharmaceutical companies across the world have been racing to update vaccines to combat newer emerging coronavirus variants.

Ghebreyesus has for long been pressing China to share its information about the origins of COVID-19, saying that until that happened all hypotheses remained on the table.

The virus was first identified in the Chinese city of Wuhan in December 2019, with many suspecting it spread in a live animal market before fanning out around the world and killing nearly 7 million people.

(Reporting by Kanjyik Ghosh in Bengaluru; Editing by Tomasz Janowski)