The 10 scientists, who must complete a two-week quarantine in Wuhan before starting their work, arrived for their much-delayed mission to examine the origins of the pandemic.
A team of experts from the World Health Organization (WHO) arrived in Wuhan on Thursday to start a highly politicised probe into the origins of the coronavirus, as China reported its first death from Covid-19 in eight months.
The virus was first detected in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in late 2019 and has since billowed out across the world killing nearly two million people so far, infecting tens of millions and eviscerating the global economy.
State broadcaster CGTN showed the plane carrying the team arrive from Singapore to be met by Chinese officials in full hazmat suits.
Their trip comes as more than 20 million people are under lockdown in the north of China and one province has declared an emergency, with Covid-19 numbers climbing after several months of being relatively static.
China had largely brought the pandemic under control through strict lockdowns and mass testing, hailing its economic rebound as an indication of strong leadership by the Communist authorities.
But another 138 infections were reported by the National Health Commission on Thursday — the highest single-day tally since March last year.
Clusters are still small compared with many countries contending with rampant infections and record numbers of deaths, and the first virus fatality in several months — reported in northern Hebei province — seeded alarm across China.
Beijing is anxious to stamp out local clusters ahead of next month’s Lunar New Year festival when hundreds of millions of people will be on the move across the country.