17:22 GMT25 January 2021
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    The visit comes as multiple nations have called for an international probe into the nature of the deadly virus, which has already claimed almost 2 million lives across the world.

    The Chinese National Health Commission has stated that a group of scientists from the World Health Organisation will visit the country to probe the origins of coronavirus.

    Ten experts will arrive on Thursday to "conduct joint research cooperation on the origins of COVID-19 with Chinese scientists", Monday's announcement said.

    Among other destinations, the specialists are expected to visit Wuhan, where the first cases of the novel coronavirus were reported.

    WHO head Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus welcomed the move by the Chinese authorities.

    A hospital employee dons protective gear inside the holding area for patients suspected of being infected with a deadly SARS-life virus which originated from the Chinese city of Wuhan, at the Manila Doctors Hospital compound in Manila on January 31, 2020. - The Philippines reported its first case of the virus on January 30, a 38-year-old woman who arrived from Wuhan and is no longer showing symptoms. (Photo by Ted ALJIBE / AFP)
    © AFP 2020 / Ted Aljibe
    A hospital employee dons protective gear inside the holding area for patients suspected of being infected with a deadly SARS-life virus which originated from the Chinese city of Wuhan, at the Manila Doctors Hospital compound in Manila on January 31, 2020. - The Philippines reported its first case of the virus on January 30, a 38-year-old woman who arrived from Wuhan and is no longer showing symptoms. (Photo by Ted ALJIBE / AFP)

    American authorities have repeatedly accused Beijing of concealing crucial information about COVID-19, also suggesting that the virus was man-made and came from the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Donald Trump has on numerous occasions called COVID-19 "the Chinese coronavirus" and urged for an international investigation into China's actions at the dawn of the pandemic, claiming that Beijing deliberately downplayed the scale of the outbreak at home.

    In May, the US national intelligence director's office agreed with "the wide scientific consensus that the COVID-19 virus was not man-made or genetically modified", however, multiple officials continued to suggest the pandemic was caused by a leak from the Chinese lab.

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    world health organization, World Health Organization (WHO), World Health Organisation, World Health Organization, coronavirus, COVID-19, Wuhan, China
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