May 18, 2020 / 7:50 AM / 18 days ago

China says premature to immediately begin a COVID-19 investigation

Residents wearing face masks line up for nucleic acid testings at a residential compound in Wuhan, the Chinese city hit hardest by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, Hubei province, China May 17, 2020. REUTERS/Aly Song

BEIJING (Reuters) - China’s foreign ministry said on Monday it was premature to immediately launch an investigation into the origins and spread of the coronavirus that has killed more than 300,000 people globally.

Spokesman Zhao Lijian told reporters during a daily briefing that the vast majority of countries in the world believe the pandemic is not yet over.

The ministry said in a separate statement that President Xi Jinping will give a video speech for the opening ceremony of the World Health Assembly later on Monday.

Reporting by Cate Cadell; writing by Se Young Lee, Editing by Catherine Evans

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