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COVID-19: WHO Chief Says UN Agency Has 'no Power Or Force To Reinforce Its Advice'

WHO chief said that it depends on countries’ willingness to accept or reject the UN agency’s advice since it has “no power or force” to reinforce the same.


World Health Organisation (WHO) chief said on April 27 that it depends on countries’ willingness to accept or reject the UN agency’s advice since it has no "power or force” to reinforce it. Speaking at the daily press briefing, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that the health agency has been calling on countries since January 30 to prepare to find, test, treat and isolate every COVID-19 patient and trace all contacts.

Dr Ghebreyesus’ reaction came after facing backlash from some countries, especially the United States, due to the exponential rise in the coronavirus cases and the death toll due to the infectious disease. WHO has been under fire for its alleged slow response to a looming threat of pandemic which has now caused a global crisis and overwhelmed medical facilities around the world.

Read: UN Chief: Extremists Using COVID-19 To Recruit Online Youths

The WHO chief said that they declared the highest level of global emergency on COVID-19 on January 30 when there were only 82 cases outside China. There were no cases in Latin America, no cases in Africa and only 10 cases in Europe when the WHO sounded the alarm, said Dr Ghebreyesus.

“One thing I would like to assure you is, we continue to give advice based on science and evidence and then it will up to the countries whether to take it or not,” Dr Ghebreyesus added.

Read: UN Labour Agency Urges Countries To Protect Workers During And After COVID-19 Lockdown

'Increasing trends'

As countries around the world have started easing lockdown measures with a decline in the number of coronavirus cases, WHO urged countries to find, isolate, test and treat all cases of COVID-19 and trace every contact, to ensure these declining trends continue. Dr Ghebreyesus said that the pandemic is far from over and the WHO is concerned about the rising trends in Africa, Eastern Europe, Latin America and some Asian countries.

“As in all regions, cases and deaths are underreported in many countries in these regions because of low testing capacity,” said the WHO chief.

Read: COVID-19 Vaccine Must Be Affordable, Effective & Universally Available, Says UN Chief

Read: WHO's Emergencies Chief: US 'well-positioned' To Handle Continuing Pandemic

(Image credit: AP)

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