Focus: GS2: Multilateral Bodies, International Relations

World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations’ specialized agency for Health was founded in 1948.

WHO is accused of not being transparent in transferring information regarding COVID 19 pandemic. USA has accused of WHO and Chinese nexus.

COVID 19 timeline. 

31 Dec 2019

WHO’s Country Office in the People’s Republic of China picked up a media statement by the Wuhan Municipal Health Commission from their website on cases of ‘viral pneumonia’ in Wuhan, People’s Republic of China

1 January 2020

WHO requested information on the reported cluster of atypical pneumonia cases in Wuhan from the Chinese authorities

4  January 2020

WHO tweeted that there was a cluster of pneumonia cases – with no deaths – in Wuhan, Hubei province, People’s Republic of China, and that investigations to identify the cause were underway

Human to Human transmission of CORONAVIRUS was not reported by WHO even to this date.

9 January 2020

WHO reported that Chinese authorities have determined that the outbreak is caused by a novel coronavirus.

10-12 January 2020

WHO published a comprehensive package of guidance documents for countries, covering topics related to the management of an outbreak of a new disease

14 January 2020 

WHO held a press briefing during which it stated, the human-to-human transmission in 41 confirmed cases in People’s Republic of China.

Feb 1, 2020:

WHO declares the outbreak a global emergency

Feb 1, 2020:

WHO declares the outbreak a global emergency

Mar 03, 2020:

New cases detected in Delhi and Telangana.

Mar 11, 2020

 The WHO declared the outbreak as a ‘pandemic’

WHO and CHINESE nexus

  • WHO had publicly praised China for its commitment to transparency.
  • WHO said China was “setting a new standard for outbreak response
  • WHO called quick sharing of whole genome sequence data of the virus as “very impressive”

Scientific evidence strongly suggests that the outbreak began at least by early November. Apparently, WHO had to keep praising China so that it shared information. Such a nexus between world’s leading organization and a communist country is said to be bad for the rule based order. WHO should be assertive towards its member nations for early detection and maintaining transparency during the health crisis.

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