WUHAN: On Sunday, WHO experts visited the Central China market connected to the first identified Covid-19 cluster, finding clues about the pandemic epidemic as a number of nations tightened more restrictions to avoid the coronavirus.
A day after Germany placed a ban on most travellers from nations hit by new, more infectious coronavirus strains, France’s borders were to close at midnight to non-European countries.
And Australian authorities placed a snap five-day lockout in Perth after a single case was identified in the region of around two million residents.
The introduction of the new strains has further complicated the coronavirus war, which first appeared in Wuhan in late 2019 before death and economic destruction is unleashed across the world.
In a politically sensitive mission to explore the roots of the pandemic, a World Health Organisation team visited the Huanan food market in Wuhan as part of its fieldwork.
Their visit is under close surveillance, and the WHO has also decreased hopes of finding the cause of the infection, which has affected more than 102 million people with more than 2.2 million deaths so far. When they toured the sector, the specialists did not take any questions from journalists.
A optimistic storey of heroism and decisive, rapid action against the virus has been promoted relentlessly by Chinese officials in recent days.
But for its handling of the original Wuhan outbreak and for its lack of accountability, it has faced criticism at home and abroad.
With mass vaccine campaigns still in their infancy and grappling with supplies, among the few alternatives open to policymakers battling the epidemic, controversial controls on industry, mobility and travel exist.
At midnight on Sunday, France closed its doors to all non-EU travellers, with the exception of those on important journeys, after shutting huge shopping centres with the exception of those selling food; while Portuguese residents were not permitted to fly abroad for two weeks, with the exception of ‘special cases’.
Germany banned most passengers from countries struggling against the latest strains of the virus on Saturday, a move affecting individuals from Britain, Ireland, Portugal, Brazil, South Africa, Lesotho and Eswatini.
Also nations who have effectively brought under control their outbreaks remain suspicious of a revival. The shutdown in Perth, Australia, was ordered after a security guard tested positive at a quarantine hotel.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a sweeping order in the United States, the world’s hardest-hit country, ordering people to wear masks on nearly any mode of public transportation.