The move came on the basis of recommendations from WHO investigators, who believe that blood analysis could be an important source of key information that could help determine how, when and where the virus was first transmitted to humans.
Health experts say the samples, if properly preserved, could contain "critical markers of the first human-made antibodies against the disease".
"This provides the closest we've seen to samples (...) to help us understand the timing of the outbreak," Yanzhong Huang, senior global health fellow at the Chinese Council on Foreign Relations, told CNN.
On the other hand, Maureen Miller, assistant professor of epidemiology at Columbia University, said that the samples "will certainly contain vital evidence" useful in tracing the origin of Corona, and urged Beijing to allow foreign experts to monitor the process.
"No one will believe any results reported by China, unless there are qualified observers," she added.
And in July 2021, Liang Wanyan, head of the Chinese team working with the World Health Organization in its investigation into the origin of Corona, said that his country would test the samples; "As soon as the Chinese experts get the results, they will hand them over to the teams of Chinese and foreign experts," he added.