Wuhan, China
Wuhan, ChinaiStock

A team of experts from the World Health Organization (WHO) who are investigating the origins of COVID-19 on Sunday went to a market in Wuhan, where one of the first reported clusters of infections emerged over a year ago, AFP reports.

Members of the group arrived at Huanan seafood market which has been sealed since January last year, according to the report.

The mission has a remit to explore how the virus jumped from animal to human.

On Sunday, according to AFP, the WHO team visited Huanan market and another wholesale one, as part of a long-planned trip closely monitored by the Chinese authorities.

Team member Peter Daszak described the tours on Twitter as "very important site visits", adding that the team had "met with key staff at both markets and asked questions to help better understand the factors involved in the emergence of COVID".

He added that speaking to staff and seeing the layout of the Huanan market was "very informative" despite the fact that it has been more than a year since the outbreak there.

China has faced criticism for playing down the initial outbreak of the virus and concealing information when it first emerged in Wuhan in December of 2019.

According to official numbers, more than 50,000 were infected and at least 2,500 died in the outbreak in Wuhan.

Authorities placed the area on lockdown for three months at the start of the pandemic, before lifting it last April.