- COVID-19 has killed over 500,000 people in the world and cases and deaths are increasing by the day.
- The pandemic has grown to over 10 million cases and caused more than 500,000 deaths worldwide.
- WHO activated its international systems that we act as part of international health regulations whenever a new signal occurs.
Mumbai: Due to global concerns that China delayed reporting information about an outbreak of coronavirus, a team from WHO (World Health Organization) will visit the country next week to investigate the virus’s origin and spread.
The visit will last more than six months after the Wuhan Municipal Health Commission’s statement on ‘viral pneumonia’ cases by the WHO’s country office in China. WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus spoke in January about an agreement with China for sending a team of international experts “as soon as possible” to work on increasing the understanding of the outbreak.
In an exclusive interview with ANI, WHO Chief Scientist Drs. Soumya Swaminathan said that an “in-depth investigation” of the origin of the virus is necessary.
He said that the WHO is working with the Chinese government for the visit. “A team is going to China next week to investigate the origin of the virus,” Swaminathan told ANI.
“What is needed now is a good investigation going back before December to find out where and how it jumped from animal to human. Was there any intermediate animal or not or it directly jumped from bat to humans which are also possible? It is also possible that there was an intermediate animal-like in the case of SARS. That thorough investigation still needs to be done,” she said.
Dr. Swaminathan said that the Chinese government had reported an outbreak of “typical pneumonia cases” from Wuhan on December 31.
“Our WHO country office in China picked it up and on January 1, WHO activated its international systems that we act as part of international health regulations whenever a new signal occurs. It should be given to all Is informed so that the whole world will know,” he said.
“We don’t know much more than that in the sense where and how it originated. We know from virus sequences that it has a lot to beat the virus. A lot of studies have been done to show bats in South-East Asia have gone. There are over 500 types of coronaviruses. There are also previous studies showing that populations living in southern China and even in other countries of South-East Asia have antibodies to coronaviruses,” he said.
COVID-19 has killed over 500,000 people in the world and cases and deaths are increasing by the day.
The pandemic has grown to over 10 million cases and caused more than 500,000 deaths worldwide.
The WHO director-general spoke on 29 January of his agreement with Chinese President Xi Jinping that the organization would lead a team of international experts to China “as soon as possible” to work with the government on increasing the understanding of the outbreak and to guide global response efforts
(With ANI Inputs)