Member states of the World Health Organisation (WHO) have agreed to an independent investigation into COVID-19 response of the UN health agency. Countries adopted the resolution by consensus on May 19 at the World Health Assembly (WHA) calling for an “impartial, independent and comprehensive evaluation” of the global response of the virus outbreak and an inquiry into the actions of the WHO and “timelines pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic”.
The resolution was brought by the European Union following a push by Australia and found over 60 backers including India. On May 18, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus welcomed the resolution and emphasised that such evaluation must encompass the entirety of the response by all actors, in good faith.
“We welcome the proposed resolution before the World Health Assembly, which calls for a step-wise process of impartial, independent & comprehensive evaluation,” said the top WHO official.
However, China had expressed its reservation against the probe into the COVID-19 as the pandemic is not over yet. Ahead of the WHA meeting, China expectedly voiced strong objection to the resolution saying it was "premature" to launch a probe into the origin of COVID-19.
At the WHA, Chinese President Xi Jinping said that Beijing supports a comprehensive review of the global response to the pandemic led by the UN health agency but only after the coronavirus is brought under control. Xi asserted that China has been open and transparent about the virus outbreak from the beginning and will support a probe if it is conducted in an objective and impartial manner.