The head of the World Health Organization says a team will be sent to China next month to investigate how the coronavirus began spreading.
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus spoke to reporters in Geneva on Monday.
"We can fight the virus better when we know everything about the virus," he said, "including how it started."
The United States has suggested that the virus may have originated in a laboratory in China. Beijing reacted sharply to that suggestion.
Attention had been on when the WHO would launch an investigation into how the outbreak began.
Six months have passed since the WHO was informed on December 31 of last year about cases of pneumonia with an unknown cause in China.
Tedros said the hard reality is that the pandemic is not even close to being over. He added, "although many countries have made some progress, globally the pandemic is actually speeding up."
He urged countries to step up measures against the coronavirus.