Dominic Dwyer via The Conversation
As I write, I am in hotel quarantine in Sydney, after returning from Wuhan, China. There, I was the Australian representative on the international World Health Organization’s (WHO) investigation into the origins of the Sars-CoV-2 virus.
As part of the mission, we met the man who, on 8 December 2019, was the first confirmed Covid-19 case; he’s since recovered. We met the husband of a doctor who died of Covid-19 and left behind a young child. We met the doctors who worked in the Wuhan hospitals treating those early Covid-19 cases, and learned what happened to them and their colleagues. We witnessed the impact of Covid-19 on many individuals and communities, affected so early in the pandemic, when we didn’t know much about the virus, how it spreads, how to treat Covid-19, or its impacts.
We talked to our Chinese counterparts – scientists, epidemiologists, doctors – over the four weeks the WHO mission was in China. We were in meetings with them for up to 15 hours a day, so we became colleagues, even friends. This allowed us to build respect and trust in a way you couldn’t necessarily do via Zoom or email.
This is what we learned about the origins of SARS-CoV-2.