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China rejects WHO plan to inspect lab

China has strongly rejected plans by the World Health Organisation to take a closer look at a laboratory in the central Chinese metropolis of Wuhan in the search for the origin of the coronavirus.

Zeng Yixin, vice minister of China’s National Health Commission, said the country cannot accept such a plan and that he was surprised when he studied the WHO’s project.

The focus on a possible laboratory outbreak was disrespectful to common sense and goes against science, Yixin said.

In the search for the origin of the coronavirus, the WHO announced a new permanent working group in a letter to member countries last week.

WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus stressed that, in addition to the examination of wild animals and animal markets in the Chinese city of Wuhan, where the virus was first detected at the end of 2019, the laboratories there must also be inspected.

China delayed the first WHO research team’s trip for months.

Although the WHO wants to continue the investigations, officials in Beijing are making no move to allow the work to continue in China.

The United States accuses China of preventing transparent analyses and China suspects that the US wants to blame it for the spread of the virus.

At the same time, theories are being spread in China that the virus could also have escaped from a US military laboratory.

White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki expressed disappointment in China on Thursday and called its position “irresponsible” and “dangerous”.

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