After a series of denials, Chinese President Xi Jinping has finally acquiesced to an international inquiry about the origin of the deadly Coronavirus pandemic that has taken the world hostage. The development comes after over 110 nations demanded an international investigation into the cause of the virus outbreak which has claimed over 3,18,000 deaths while infecting over 4.8 million worldwide as the number goes on increasing by the hour.
A resolution was tabled at the World Health Assembly, drafted by the European Union with signatories from 120 countries including India, seeking an investigation into the SARS-CoV-2 virus’s source and the process of its introduction into humans.
The resolution has not only raised questions on the origins of the virus but also questioned the leadership of the World Health Organisation (WHO) chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
For weeks, China had been bitterly opposing the proposal from other countries to conduct an international probe into the pandemic's origins. But during the annual meeting, China which is the birthplace of the deadly contagion, agreed to an independent evaluation of the coronavirus response once the pandemic is over.
US President Donald Trump was also invited to speak at the assembly, but declined the invitation, two officials, one at the WHO and one at the White House, were quoted as saying.
Meanwhile, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, who represented the US at the virtual meeting, used the platform to accuse the WHO of allowing China to cover up the outbreak.
"We must be frank about one of the primary reasons that this outbreak spun out of control," he said. "There was a failure by this organisation to obtain the information that the world needed and that failure cost many lives," Azar added.
China has repeatedly been accused of concealing information on the outbreak and exercising a lack of transparency over the severity of the crisis. Australia was the first to demand a probe into the virus outbreak to which China had retaliated by halting the beef imports from Australia and imposed 80 percent tariff on Barley imports from Australia for five years.
Besides Australia, the United States has been an open critic of China's handling of the health crisis, accusing China of lacking transparency in dealing with the pandemic and concealing the severity of the crisis. US President Donald Trump has also accused the WHO of being a 'puppet of China'.
(With ANI inputs)