A south-central Yunnan origin is a highly suggestive finding because at the centre of that region is the Mojiang mine, which is the focus of most lab origin theories
Current outbreaks, while still in the hundreds of cases in total, have spread much more widely than previous ones, reaching multiple provinces and cities including the capital, Beijing
The origins of the COVID-19 remain a widely debated topic, with some scientists and politicians maintaining that the possibility of a lab leak of the deadly virus exists.
WHO must provide definitive answers on the origin and spread of the coronavirus
The Wuhan Institute of Virology has collected extensive virus samples, leading to unproven allegations that it may have caused the original outbreak.
One of China's top virus research labs, the institute built an archive of genetic information about bat coronaviruses after the 2003 outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome.
The team's visit to the Hubei Provincial Center for Disease Control comes amid tight Chinese controls on access to information about the virus.
The mission has become politically charged, as China seeks to avoid blame for alleged missteps in its early response to the outbreak.
The researchers, who were required to complete 14 days in quarantine after arriving in China, could be seen leaving their hotel and boarding a bus on Thursday afternoon.
As of 5 p.m. Saturday, 43 close contacts had been quarantined in designated places and 109 were under observation at home, according to the Harbin epidemic response headquarters.
"The fostering of numerical skills for sifting through online information could well be vital for curbing the 'infodemic' and promoting good public health behaviour."
"China's total lack of transparency and mishandling of the coronavirus outbreak has cost hundreds of thousands of lives, millions of jobs and left untold economic destruction."
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