WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on May 1 gave a robust defence of WHOs’s “timely" action on the COVID-19 pandemic and said that it had declared it an international health emergency at end of January. Recently, WHO had also released a comprehensive timeline of the organisation’s response to the pandemic. He also expressed "grave concerns about the potential impact" of the disease if it spread to countries with "weaker health systems".
Speaking at a virtual news briefing, the WHO chief said, "The January 30 declaration was made in enough time for the rest of the world to respond because at that stage, there were only 82 cases of infection and no deaths outside China." He added that WHO had used days before declaring it as a global health emergency to as time to visit China to learn more about the virus and also to make a “groundbreaking deal" with China to send in investigators.
The US had accused the WHO is mishandling the pandemic and conspiring with China to conceal information. When asked about the US-WHO relations, Tedros reportedly clarified that both were in "constant contact" and were working together. WHO, in recent times, has been threatened by the "worrying spread" of COVID-19 in Haiti, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Yemen, Syria, Afghanistan, Sierra Leone, and Nothern Nigeria. On the other hand, many countries are now moving towards easing lockdowns. Speaking about reduced restrictions, Mark Ryan, WHO ‘s head of emergencies reportedly said that it was important for those nations to “constantly look for a jump in infection” and be proper to reimpose stringent measures.
WHO had declared the Coronavirus outbreak as a Pandemic on March 11. At present, there are around 3,402,211 confirmed cases of COVID-19 infection across the globe and the disease has led to the death of around 239,625 people. In a ray of hope, around 1,084,187 people are also reported to have recovered. Leading the number of worldwide cases of novel coronavirus COVID-19 infection, the United States has become the new epicentre of the pandemic surpassing China, Italy, and Iran.