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Advance team of WHO experts arrives in China

The WHO chief thanked numerous professionals across the world for sharing their expertise

GENEVA, February 10. /TASS/. An advance team of experts of the World Health Organization (WHO) has arrived in China to join the efforts aimed to combat the 2019-nCoV coronavirus, WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said during a briefing in Geneva on Monday.

"An advance team of WHO experts has just arrived in China, led by Dr Bruce Aylward, to lay the groundwork for the larger intl. team," WHO’s Twitter account quotes the director general as saying. "Bruce & colleagues will be working with their Chinese counterparts to make sure we have the right expertise to answer the right questions."

The WHO chief thanked numerous professionals across the world for sharing their expertise.

The director general informed that the WHO team would consist of 10 experts, possibly expanded to 15. The experts will work in accordance with the plan developed during the meetings with their Chinese partners. The group will be able to choose priority areas of practical cooperation without prior approval of WHO. The organization’s chief spoke out against the politicization of the disease.

On January 28, WHO informed that during Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus’ visit to China, the parties agreed that WHO would send a team of experts to China as soon as possible to cooperate with Chinese partners.

On December 31, Chinese authorities informed WHO about an outbreak of an unknown pneumonia in the city of Wuhan - a large trade and industrial center in central China populated by 11 million people. On January 7, Chinese experts identified the infecting agent - coronavirus 2019-nCoV. The virus spread to 24 more countries apart from China - Australia, Belgium, Cambodia, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Japan, India, Italy, Malaysia, Nepal, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Thailand, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, the United States and Vietnam. WHO declared the coronavirus outbreak in China a global health emergency.

Currently, the total number of people infected with coronavirus exceeded 40,200 in China with 909 people reported to have died from the disease. Meanwhile, about 3,300 people are said to have recovered from it.