A 10-member team of the World Health Organization (WHO) experts, assigned to probe the origins of coronavirus, arrived in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, where the virus first emerged in December 2019, from Singapore on Thursday.
The long-delayed mission to probe the origins of Covid-19 comes as China reported its first death from the killer virus in eight months amid a resurgence in coronavirus cases.
According to reports, Chinese state broadcaster CGTN showed the arrival of their plane from Singapore for a probe that is expected to last several weeks.
Meanwhile, China's state-affiliated media Global Times reported that the WHO team will receive both throat swabs and antibody tests at the Wuhan airport, and will be quarantined for 14 days as per the regulations.
"Current plan is that they will fly from Singapore to Wuhan on January 14," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said at a media briefing earlier.
It is expected that they will have to complete two weeks of quarantine due to China's strict border restrictions, he added.
Peter Ben Embarek, team lead for WHO's mission, said the group would start with a two-week quarantine at a hotel due to China's border requirements.
"And then after the two weeks, we would be able to move around and meet our Chinese counterparts in person and go to the different sites that we will want to visit," he said.
He warned it "could be a very long journey before we get a full understanding of what happened".
As per experts, solving the mystery of how Covid-19 first jumped from animals to humans is crucial to preventing another pandemic.
Covid-19 has killed around two million people since the outbreak first emerged in China's Wuhan.
Thousands of mutations in the deadly virus have taken place as it has passed from person to person across the world, but new variants recently detected in the United Kingdom and South Africa are seemingly more contagious.