China: WHO team ends quarantine to begin virus probe

A team of international experts representing the World Health Organization (WHO) in China ended their mandatory 14-day quarantine on Thursday.

The team, along with their Chinese counterparts, is now set to begin a full-fledged probe in to origins of the coronavirus from Wuhan, capital of China’s central Hubei province, where the first cases of the infection were reported in December 2019.

“And goodbye to my 'kitchen', 'bar' & infectious waste disposal trash bag [quarantine rules consider all trash potential biohazard until 14 days over],” said Peter Daszak, one of the 13-member team of the global health body, on Twitter.

China's Foreign Ministry Spokesman Zhao Lijian also confirmed that the quarantine period has ended.

"The WHO expert team tracing the coronavirus origin completed their quarantine in Wuhan on Thursday, and will continue to carry out exchanges and cooperation in #China, including seminars, visits, investigations and other activities," Lijian was cited by Chinese daily Global Times as saying at a news conference in Beijing.

Another team member, Marion Koopmans, with a negative test certificate in hand, tweeted: “New phase, new priorities. Moving to the next level of post quarantine health monitoring, that went into effect recently. Hopefully we do get to smell some fresh air!”

The team landed in China earlier this month.

China has reported 89,326 coronavirus cases including 4,636 deaths since December 2019.

In fresh outbreak, China has witnessed spread of locally transmitted infections. On Wednesday, the country reported 54 new cases 41 indigenous cases which were mostly reported from Heilongjiang and Jilin provinces.

Source: Anadolu Agency