Beijing, February 21
A team of WHO experts would travel to Wuhan, the epicentre of the coronavirus epidemic, on Saturday to investigate the disease outbreak, the global health body announced on Friday.
The 12-member team, which arrived in China on Monday, was initially designated to visit only Beijing, Guangdong and Sichuan provinces as the Hubei province and its provincial capital Wuhan was conspicuously absent from the list.
However, the team was finally given the permission to visit Wuhan by the Chinese government.
The death toll in China due to coronavirus has gone up to 2,236 while the overall confirmed infection cases have climbed to 75,567, the country's health officials said.
"The international experts currently in China to investigate the novel coronavirus outbreak will travel to Wuhan on Saturday," state-run Xinhua quoted a World Health Organisation announcement made in Geneva.
The experts team, which is joined by the Chinese health experts, talked to Hubei authorities during a teleconference and discussed the epidemic situation, control and prevention measures in communities and rural areas, wildlife management and drug and vaccine development, Xinhua reported.
Besides controlling the spread of the virus, a major task of the WHO team along with their Chinese counterparts is to come up with a standard medicine to cure the disease.
Chinese officials have said that more than half of the patients are being treated with Traditional Chinese Medicine in Wuhan that helped many of them to recover.
Several antiviral drugs have been applied in clinical trials against the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and some have shown fairly good clinical efficacy, a Chinese official said.
Chinese researchers have narrowed down their focus to a few existing drugs, including Chloroquine Phosphate, Favipiravir and Remdesivir, after multiple rounds of screening, Zhang Xinmin, director of the China National Center for Biotechnology Development under the Ministry of Science and Technology, said. - PTI
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