The World Health Organization today asked China for more data on the evolution of the new wave of the epidemic, after the announcement of 60,000 deaths related to Covid after the lifting of restrictive measures, and more transparency to understand the origin of the pandemic.
“Earlier today, the director-general of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, spoke with Minister Ma Xiaowei, director of the National Health Commission of China, regarding the situation of Covid-19 in the country,” the international organization said in a statement.
The WHO director-general and other WHO officials have criticized China’s reluctance in recent weeks to share reliable data on the Covid wave sweeping the country, as well as its “too narrow” determination of deaths attributed to Covid.
The WHO states that it is “analyzing the information, which covers the period from the beginning of December 2022 until January 12, 2023 and allows a better understanding of the epidemiological situation and the impact of this wave in China” and asks Beijing “for such detailed information to continue to be shared’ with the organization and the public.
The WHO is asking Chinese scientific authorities to share more genetic sequence data to improve monitoring of the virus’ evolution.
The organization assures Beijing that it will continue its cooperation by offering advisory and technical support.
During his conversation with the Chinese official, the WHO director-general reiterated, according to the statement, “the importance of China’s enhanced cooperation and transparency in understanding the origins of the Covid-19 pandemic.”
Since the beginning of the pandemic, there has been intense debate among experts seeking to unravel the mystery of the origin of the virus. Studies have concluded a possible animal origin of the virus that first appeared in the Chinese city of Wuhan in December 2019. However, this scenario is disputed by supporters of the theory that the virus escaped from a laboratory in Wuhan.
Source: News Beast
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