A senior World Health Organization official has said that the WHO cannot force China to disclose more data on the origins of COVID-19, adding that it will propose the necessary studies to understand where the virus originated in the ” next level “.
Asked by a journalist how the WHO will “force” China to be more open, Mike Ryan, director of the agency’s emergency program, said at a news conference that “the WHO has no power to force no one about it “.
“We look forward to the cooperation, contribution and support of all our member states in this effort,” Ryan said Monday.
There are competing theories that the virus jumped from animals, possibly starting with bats, to humans, or that escaped from a laboratory in Wuhan, China.
He Leakage theory in Wuhan laboratory it has recently become the subject of renewed public debate after several prominent scientists called for a thorough investigation into the origins of the virus.
The hypothesis that the virus was accidentally leaked from the laboratory was largely ignored by scientists in the early stages of the coronavirus outbreak. China has repeatedly denied that the lab was responsible for the outbreak.
Members of a WHO team who visited China earlier this year looking for the origins of COVID-19 have said they did not have access to all the data, prompting an ongoing debate on the transparency of COVID-19. country.
Former U.S. President Donald Trump and his supporters have expanded conspiracy theories that China deliberately leaked the virus.
Then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo insisted last year that there was “significant evidence” that the virus came from the lab, while he did not publish any evidence and acknowledged there was no certainty.
Meanwhile, the WHO chief called on COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers to give the COVAX global equity scheme its first refusal of new doses or to commit half of its volumes to the WHO-backed initiative. .
In an information session, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus lamented the inequality of the COVID-19 vaccine he said it created a “two-way pandemic” with protected western countries and the poorest nations still exposed, renewing requests for gun donations.
He expressed frustration that several poor countries have not been able to immunize their health workers, the elderly and other populations most vulnerable to severe COVID-19 disease.
“We are increasingly seeing a two-way pandemic: many countries are still facing an extremely dangerous situation, while some of the countries with the highest vaccination rates are starting to talk about ending restrictions,” Tedros told reporters. , adding that vaccine sharing was essential to ending the “Acute Phase of the COVID-19 Pandemic”.
– World Health Organization (WHO) (@WHO) June 7, 2021
The WHO chief said that six months since the first coronavirus vaccines were administered, high-income countries have administered “almost 44% of the world’s doses.”
“Low-income countries have managed only 0.4 percent. The most frustrating thing about this statistic is that it hasn’t changed in months.”
Tedros has called for a major global effort to vaccinate at least 10 percent of the population of all countries by September and at least 30 percent by the end of the year.
This will require an additional 250 million doses by September, with 100 million doses in June and July alone.
“This weekend, G7 leaders will gather for their annual summit,” Tedros said. “These seven nations have the power to achieve these goals.
“I call on the G7 not only to commit to sharing doses, but to commit to sharing them in June and July,” he said.
“I also ask all manufacturers to grant COVAX the first right to refuse the new volume of COVID-19 vaccines or to commit 50% of their volumes to COVAX this year.”
COVAX was created to ensure equitable distribution of vaccines, especially in low-income countries, and has already administered more than 80 million doses in 129 territories.
But that’s about 200 million doses behind where I expected it to be, the WHO says.
For vaccines to be eligible for COVAX, they must have been approved by the WHO and granted their emergency use list status.
To date, the UN health agency has given the green light to vaccines created by AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech, Sinopharm and Sinovac.