Work resumes at Honda Motor’s facility in Wuhan, China. Reuters
Tens of thousands of people fled Wuhan on Wednesday after a 76-day travel ban was lifted on the Chinese city where the coronavirus first emerged.
China has faced a barrage of criticism at home and abroad over its initial handling of the virus, including attempts to silence whistle-blowers and not reporting any cases for days in early January amid high-level political consultations.
Peter Ben Embarek, the WHO’s top expert on animal diseases that cross to other species, who went to China on a preliminary mission last July, is leading the 10 independent experts, a WHO spokesman said.
His arrival in the city, where the virus is believed to have first taken hold late last year, comes after its spread in mainland China has sharply slowed in the past week and as attention has turned to preventing imported infections from overseas hot spots such as Iran, Italy and South Korea.
Global shares stumbled on Friday as hopes of a fiscal boost from a $1.9 trillion US stimulus plan were smothered by the prospect of stricter lockdowns in France and Germany and a resurgence of COVID-19 cases in China.
The Italian government has approved a new stimulus package worth 32 billion euros ($38.8 billion) to prop up the battered economy, pushing this year’s budget deficit significantly higher than previously planned.
Pakistan and Bangladesh are rationing gas and buyers across South Asia are seeking alternative fuels after spot liquefied natural gas (LNG) prices surged to record highs, government and industry officials told Reuters.