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Thursday, August 5, 2021

WHO promises transparency in pandemic review

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WHO promises transparency in pandemic review
WHO promises transparency in pandemic review

The head of the World Health Organization said on Monday that an independent evaluation of the global coronavirus response would be launched as soon as possible, and China backed such a review.

Emer McCarthy reports.

The WHO will conduct an independent evaluation of the global coronavirus response and it will be launched as soon as possible.

That's what was promised by Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus during a virtual meeting of the WHO's decision-making body, the World Health Assembly on Monday (May 18).

He added that the organization is committed to ''transparency, accountability, and continuous improvement." U.S. President Donald Trump has fiercely questioned the WHO’s performance during the pandemic, and led international criticism of China’s handling of the early stages of the crisis.

The review was on Monday seemingly supported by Chinese President Xi Jinping -- who had previously opposed calls for a review of the origin and spread of the coronavirus.

"China supports the idea of a comprehensive review of the global response to COVID-19 after it is brought under control, to collect experiences and address deficiencies." Tedros has always promised a post-pandemic review, and said that it would come "at the earliest appropriate moment" but warned of the dangers of returning to normal too quickly.

''We urge countries to proceed with caution.

Countries that move too fast without putting in place the public health architecture to detect and suppress transmission run the real risk of handicapping their own recovery.'' A resolution drafted by the European Union called for an independent evaluation of the WHO’s performance, and appeared to have won backing among the health body’s 194 states.

The draft made no mention of China.

A sense of solidarity was a theme among European participants, with French and German leaders using the virtual assembly to call for a united approach to fighting the virus.

"No country can solve this crisis alone.

We have to act together,'' German Chancellor Angela Merkel told the meeting from Berlin.

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