Australia calls for global inquiry into COVID-19 origins

PETER PARKS / AFP

Australia has called for an international inquiry into the origins of the coronavirus in the Chinese city of Wuhan, and how it was handled.

The country's foreign minister Marise Payne questioned China's transparency and insisted the World Health Organisation (WHO) should not run the inquiry.

"The issues around the coronavirus are issues for independent review, and I think that it is important that we do that," Payne told ABC television. "In fact, Australia will absolutely insist on that."

This comes following strained ties between the two countries and increased criticism from US President Donald Trump over how the health crisis was initially handled.

"My trust in China is predicated in the long-term," Payne said. "My concern is around transparency and ensuring that we are able to engage openly."

China, however, has dismissed the allegations.

So far, Australia has reported more than 6,500 positive cases and 70 deaths. 

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