A team of World Health Organization investigators in Wuhan are visiting a laboratory that has been the focus of conspiracies and speculation about the origin of the coronavirus pandemic.
The WHO investigators began research in the central Chinese city last week, after a 14-day quarantine and bureaucratic delays. Their work has been subject to intense scrutiny and political pressure from both within China and outside the country.
Few places they are visiting are as controversial as a laboratory run by the Wuhan Institute of Virology, which officials in former US President Donald Trump's administration suggested, without providing evidence, could have been the origin of the coronavirus.
The lab in question, which is affiliated with the central government-run Chinese Academy of Sciences, is the only one in mainland China equipped for the highest level of biocontainment, known as Biosafety Level 4 (BSL-4).
BSL-4 labs are designed to study the world's most dangerous pathogens — those that pose a high risk for transmission, are frequently fatal and most often have no reliable cure, such as coronaviruses.
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