China is preventing the arrival of a World Health Organization team investigating the origins of SAR-CoV-2, the Guardian reports, adding that visas for some team members were not yet approved.
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director-general of the WHO, expressed disappointment regarding the situation, according to the Guardian. It adds that the WHO's Mike Ryan hopes the issue can be resolved quickly.
The WHO announced that it would be sending a team of investigators to Wuhan, China, where SAR-CoV-2 emerged about a year ago. While the source of the virus is unknown, there are suspicions that it originated in bats, then spent time in an intermediary animal before infecting humans. For this phase of its analysis, the WHO said it would be sending investigators to the region to collect human and animal samples for testing.
But as the Washington Post adds, political factors may hinder the investigation. Ilona Kickbusch from the Global Health Center tells the Guardian, for instance, that the trade war between the US and China trade war has morphed into a "geopolitical blame game."
Additionally, the Post notes the time it is taking the WHO to get to Wuhan will make it harder to determine the source of the virus. "It's like there was a murder and you go back to the crime scene a year later, after it was scrubbed, and you expect to find something," Lawrence Gostin from Georgetown University tells it.