WHO says joint China mission to start coronavirus probe this weekend


A World Health Organization-led mission to China will start investigating the coronavirus outbreak this weekend.

Focusing on the severity of Covid-19 and how it is spreading, especially among the 1,700 health workers infected so far.

This was Executive Director Michael Ryan:

(SOUNDBITE) (English) EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION (WHO) EMERGENCY PROGRAMME, MICHAEL RYAN, SAYING:

"Our understanding is that the cases among health workers peaked in the third and fourth week of January and there has been a rapid fall off in the number of cases that occurred in health workers in the last two weeks. This may reflect increased levels of training, increased levels of protection and also increased levels of awareness. Remember, this outbreak has come, expanded very quickly in an unsuspecting health system, so we also need to look at how many of those health workers were exposed unknowingly within a clinical environment, you know, how many were wearing protective equipment, how many had training, there is a whole load of factors we need to look at."

The joint team will have 12 Chinese members and 12 international counterparts, and it is expected to touch down over the weekend.