New Delhi: A World Health Organisation (WHO) team will finally visit China next week in a bid to investigate the source of SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic. Also Read - Coronavirus Will be With Us For a Long Time, Make No Mistake, Says World Health Organisation

The announcement to this effect was made five days ago by WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, on June 29, who had remarked that the world can fight the virus better ‘when we know everything about the virus, including how it started’. Also Read - 'COVID 19 is Not an Airborne Disease', Says World Health Organisation

“WHO has been saying that knowing the source of the virus is very, very important. It’s science, it’s public health. We can fight the virus better when we know everything about the virus, including how it started,” he had said in a media briefing on June 29. Also Read - World Health Organisation Hails Modi's 'Janata Curfew' Initiative

“We will be sending a team next week to China to prepare for that and we hope that that will lead into understanding how the virus started and what we can do for the future to prepare. So we’re planning to send a team next week,” he had further remarked.

Notably, it has been alleged in certain quarters that the virus originally originated from a laboratory in China. US President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have both made repeatedly said that the virus has actually come from China.

However, with no evidence being presented to back the speculations, China has denied the allegations.

It has now been more than six months since WHO received the first reports of a cluster of cases of pneumonia of unknown cause in China. A novel coronavirus was found out to be the cause of the disease, which is now known as COVID-19.

Thus far, over 11 million people worldwide have tested positive for the infection, with over 5.25 lakh people losing their lives due to it, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

(With IANS inputs)