Since November 2020, travelers to China must show negative results before an IgM antibody test and a PCR test before they can enter.
The scientists in question are being re-tested and have been tested several times in the past and found to be negative for the coronavirus several times, the organization said, adding that scientists who were able to travel to China “immediately begin work under the two-week quarantine protocol.” for international travelers. ”
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said at a regular press conference on Thursday that the country “strictly adheres to disease prevention rules and requirements and provides adequate support and tools to WHO experts who come to China to cooperate internationally in tracing the origin of the virus.” “
Asked whether the two scholars refused entry, Zhao did not comment and instructed the reports to ask “the competent authorities.”
State broadcaster CGTN reported on Thursday that the WHO team “arrived in the country” also underwent throat and serum antibodies at the airport.
“I am very disappointed with this news,” said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. “I have been in contact with senior Chinese officials and have made it clear once again that the mission is a priority for the WHO and the international team.”
Tedros added that the WHO was “looking forward to the mission launching as soon as possible” and was assured that Beijing would speed up its internal process of “deployment as soon as possible.”
This deployment began this week when the majority of the team arrived in Wuhan, although they will be limited in what they can do when they complete the mandatory two-week quarantine.
Marion Koopmans, a senior Dutch virologist at the Erasmus Medical Centre’s Rotterdam Department of Virology who is a member of the investigation team heading to China, said earlier this month that they were “ready to go”.
Koopmans said they were told that nothing is limitless in China and said the team would work with their Chinese colleagues, “look at the data, talk to expert people and deduce what had been done, and what could be built.”
It is important to understand why you need to understand how the virus jumps to people, because “there is no country that does not have a risk of developing the disease. We need to understand this so the whole world can prepare.”
“We really have to have patience and not judge. Meticulous work, it takes time,” Koopmans said.
The United States and Australia have accused it of criticizing China’s treatment in the early stages of the pandemic, accusing Beijing of underestimating its severity and preventing a late effective response.
Foreign Minister Wang Yi praised China’s domestic and foreign anti-epidemic efforts, saying the country had “launched an emergency global humanitarian campaign” and “contributed to building a consensus on a global response to Covid-19.”
CNN’s Beijing office contributed to the report.