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Coronavirus: China warns US against ‘politicizing’ WHO COVID-19 origins probe

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WHO experts probing the origins of the coronavirus must be allowed to work free from “political interference”, Beijing said Thursday, in a rebuke to the White House, as the team’s closely watched mission began.

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China hopes the US can “respect facts and science, respect the hard work of the WHO international... expert team”, Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Zhao Lijan told reporters, and allow them to work “free from political interference”.

A team of experts from the World Health Organization left quarantine in Wuhan on Thursday to begin a heavily scrutinized probe into the origins of the Covid-19 pandemic, after Washington urged a “robust and clear” investigation.

The group started a two-week quarantine on arrival on January 14 in the central Chinese city where the first known cluster of virus cases emerged in late 2019.

Wearing masks, they peered at the ranks of waiting media from the window of a bus which whisked them from the quarantine to another hotel on Thursday – although it was not immediately clear when and where their investigation will start.

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