The World Health Organization (WHO) said Thursday that it has not been invited by China to join the investigation into the cause of the coronavirus pandemic.
WHO’s representative in Beijing Dr. Gauden Galea said he expected China would discuss collaborations with the organization in the "near future."
"We know some national investigation is happening but at this stage we have not been invited to join. We are expecting to get, in the near future, a briefing on where that is and to discuss possible collaboration," Galea said.
The coronavirus disease COVID-19, which originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan, has taken over 230,000 human lives worldwide, according to a collection of data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, and confirmed infection cases have reached 3.2 million.
Beijing has been criticized for lack of transparency in its handling of the pandemic, with the United States investigating whether the virus might have gotten out from a Wuhan biosecurity laboratory.
The official tally of infections in Wuhan has been questionable from the very beginning with the government frequently changing its counting criteria at the peak of the outbreak.
Meanwhile, China has dismissed the possibility that the coronavirus pandemic originated in that lab and it was not transmitted from animals to humans in Wuhan as commonly believed.
Although the origin of COVID-19 is yet to be determined, some scientists suspect the virus was transmitted to humans from animals at a wet market in Wuhan.