WHO expert wants to return to Wuhan to follow up Covid-19 cases



A World Health Organization expert has said that he would like to go back to wholesale food markets in Wuhan in China to follow up initial cases of Covid-19 which emerged in the city.

Peter Ben Embarek, an expert in animal diseases, told a WHO social media briefing that he would like to re-interview initial cases and find others who may have “important information” on where they may have picked up the virus.

His comments come as the WHO said the Americas reported more than1.5 million cases of Covid-19 in the last seven days, the highest weekly number since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

The rapid surge of infections in the United States continues and cases have accelerated in countries of North, Central and South America, the WHO’s regional branch PAHO (Pan American Health Organization) said.

In Canada, infections are rising particularly among the elderly and indigenous communities, its Assistant Director Jarbas Barbosa said.

A restaurant dining ban has come into force in Los Angeles as officials warned Americans to stay at home for the Thanksgiving holiday, while parts of Europe considered looser restrictions over the Christmas season.

The three-week order in the second-biggest city in the US will begin as California faces record Covid-19 cases, and its health secretary urges people to avoid large family gatherings.

“It’s as important to say no even when it comes to the closest people in our family,” Dr Mark Ghaly said, adding he had barred his own mother from his planned celebration.

The US government’s health protection agency has for the first time called on Americans not to travel for the annual holiday, which normally see families get together tomorrow.

Meanwhile, plans to deliver a vaccine to Americans are accelerating.

More than six million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine will be available in the first week after it is cleared for emergency use, which is likely next month, according to officials.

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