Sending a full team of experts from the World Health Organization to China to identify the animal source of COVID-19 will not be until August, said Michael Ryan, Director of the WHO’s health emergency program, at a briefing in Geneva.

“I think at the moment, it is unrealistic, given the timing and logistics, to expect that a full-fledged mission will be able to start working on the ground in July. Just because of the time it takes to do this and get the team together. This will be an international team with experts from many countries. Bringing this group to China, working with Chinese colleagues, purely because of logistics and risk management, will take weeks, not days,” he said.

According to him, WHO representatives who are currently in China are happy with the interaction with their Chinese colleagues and expect to complete work on a joint action plan.