More than a dozen World Health Organization investigators have arrived in Wuhan, China, to begin their inquiry into the origins of SARS-CoV-2, NPR reports.
In December, the WHO announced it would be sending a team of between 12 and 15 investigators to Wuhan for about six weeks to collect samples from people and animals for testing. Experts suspect that the virus may have originated in bats and spent time in an intermediary animal before infecting people.
The WHO group ran into some problems this month when China prevented the team's entry. As NPR notes, China has been resistant to the idea that SARS-CoV-2 first infected people in Wuhan. But, according to NPR, the team now has the final approvals needed.
"The experts will begin their work immediately during the two weeks quarantine protocol for international travelers," the WHO says in a tweet. The New York Times notes that two members had to stay behind in Singapore following positive tests for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies.
The Times adds that the investigation, beginning more than a year after the first reported cases, will be "painstaking," as the team is expected to study those first cases, data from a market in Wuhan, and more, while navigating a thicket of political concerns.