India among 58 nations questioning WHO on COVID-19 response

India among 58 nations questioning WHO on COVID-19 response

NEW DELHI: India is among 58 nations, including 27 European Union members, who have moved a draft resolution demanding evaluation of the World Health Organisation (WHO)’s response towards the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The European Union-led draft resolution on global COVID-19 response is set to be tabled at the upcoming World Health Assembly on Monday. The draft resolution demands initiation “at the earliest appropriate moment to review experience gained and lessons learned from the WHO-coordinated international health response to COVID-19”.

“We are deeply concerned by the morbidity and mortality caused by COVID-19 pandemic, the negative impacts on physical and mental health and social well-being, the negative impacts on economy and society and the consequent exacerbation of inequalities within and between countries,” read the draft.

“We express solidarity to all countries affected by the pandemic, as well as condolences and sympathy to all the families of the victims of COVID-19,” it added. The resolution says timelines are to be evaluated regarding “recommendations the WHO made to improve global pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response capacity”.

The WHO on January 23 declare a global health emergency, but did not declare it and waited for a week for its director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus to return from China.

By that time, COVID-19 cases increased 10 times and the virus entered 18 countries. According to Health Policy Watch, till as late as February, the WHO did not support countries for imposing travel restrictions to China.

“When countries began evacuating their citizens from Wuhan, the COVID-19 epicentre, the WHO said it did not favour this step”. The WHO finally declared it a pandemic on March 11. The global health body has come under criticism not just from the US for its response being “China-centric”.

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