US still waiting on China's approval to send experts to join the WHO team

Reuters Shanghai, Shanghai, China Feb 08, 2020, 05.10 PM(IST)

File photo. Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

China's foreign ministry said it understood that the National Health Commission was in close communication with WHO on specific arrangements for the team's visit to China.

US experts on infectious diseases, including government officials, are awaiting approval to enter China to help fight the coronavirus epidemic, having been included on a list proposed by the World Health Organization, a US embassy spokesman stated.

China agreed to allow WHO to form a team of experts to travel to China to learn about the virus and find solutions to the outbreak, the spokesman said. "The United States appreciates China's efforts and continued coordination with public health officials across the globe," he said in an e-mailed statement.

"These US experts have extensive experience working with the World Health Organization on a range infectious disease outbreaks and epidemics including Ebola, avian influenza, and SARS," he added.

Also ReadCoronavirus Outbreak: US offers $100m aid to China

A WHO source in Geneva said that the agency was waiting to hear back from China on the proposed team, while a WHO spokesman said on Saturday he had no further update on the mission.

China's foreign ministry said in a statement that it understood that the National Health Commission was in close communication with WHO on the specific arrangements for the team's visit to China.