WHO bows to international call for independent probe of coronavirus origin

DHARAMSALA, 19 May: China and the WHO have both agreed to calls from the majority of its member states to that called for an investigation on the origin of the COVID-19 and the WHO’s response to the pandemic.

China on Monday gave in to mounting international pressure for a probe into the origin of Covid-19 and a review of the World Health Organisation’s response to the pandemic reports the Hindustan Times.

However, the Chinese President Xi Jinping has maintained that China had acted with ‘openness, transparency and responsibility’ when the disease, which has impacted billions of people across the world, first broke out, the report added.

Addressing the opening ceremony of the WHO’s key policy-making body meeting, Xi has declared his support for a full investigation into how the outbreak was handled but cautioned that it must not be politicised and that it has to be led by the WHO and should only begin once the virus had been brought under control.

“China supports the idea of a comprehensive review of the global response to COVID-19 after it is brought under control to sum up the experiences and address the deficiencies. This work should be based on science and professionalism, led by WHO and conducted in an objective and impartial manner,” Xi has said in his speech.

The draft of the motion that calls for probe into the pandemic that has killed over 320,335 people globally and a review of the World Health Organisation’s response to the pandemic was backed nearly 120 nations.

WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus is reported to have pledged at the assembly to launch an independent probe to review the coronavirus pandemic response “at the earliest appropriate moment”.

“Whatever lessons there are to learn from the COVID-19 pandemic, the greatest failing would be to not learn from them and to leave the world in the same vulnerable state it was before,” he said.

Meanwhile, the US President Donald Trump has said that he was considering whether to cut the annual US funding from USD 450 million a year to USD 40 million as he called out WHO for having done a very sad job.

“They gave us a lot of bad advice, terrible advice, they were wrong so much, always on the side of China,” Trump was quoted as saying in The Wire.

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