WHO chief urges China to cooperate with investigation into origins of Covid-19 – –

WHO chief urges China to cooperate with investigation into origins of Covid-19 – –

FALMOUTH, England – The head of the World Health Organization on Saturday urged China to cooperate in an investigation into the origins of the coronavirus after a summit of Group of Seven leaders discussed the causes of the global Covid pandemic -19.

Speaking to reporters after participating in parts of the summit via video, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, said he hoped there would be better cooperation and transparency when the next phase of the investigation into the origin of the virus is said to be ongoing.

“As you know, we will need the cooperation of the Chinese side,” he said. “We need transparency to understand or know or find the origin of this virus … after the publication of the report, there were difficulties in sharing data, especially in raw data.”

Dr Tedros said preparations for the next steps in the investigation were underway and the question of the origin of the virus was discussed by G-7 leaders on Saturday. An initial investigation into the origins of the coronavirus, which concluded that a laboratory leak in China was unlikely, has been criticized by several governments.

President Biden has ordered a new U.S. intelligence investigation into the origins of the pandemic. US intelligence has focused on two scenarios: whether the pandemic began as a result of human contact with infected animals or a laboratory accident. U.S. intelligence agencies are divided over the insufficient evidence currently to prove either. Several Western leaders have backed a new WHO survey that explores all possible hypotheses.

Meanwhile, the WHO chief urged vaccine manufacturers to give up intellectual property rights to vaccines and in turn be compensated by rich countries to bolster a lagging global immunization program. G-7 leaders have pledged to donate one billion vaccines to developing countries by the end of 2022.

World leaders gathered in Cornwall, England on Friday for the first day of the G-7 summit. As they posed for a socially distanced photo on the beach, protesters marched nearby demanding they focus on tackling climate change. Photo: Léon Neal / Getty Images

The WHO aims to vaccinate 70% of the world by June 2022 and says it needs 11 billion doses of vaccine to do so.

“We need more, and we need it faster,” said Dr Tedros. Despite the lack of vaccines, he added that the target of 70% of the planet to be vaccinated by June of next year was still attainable. He said the production capacity could be increased to meet the target.

President Biden and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson took advantage of the G-7 summit in England to announce the donation of 500 million and 100 million vaccines, respectively, to the world’s poorest countries. “We don’t expect to get everything from the G-7,” said Dr Tedros, who added that he would present his appeal to the larger group of 20 nations.

As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to rage, the G-7 is focusing on what it can do to prevent the next pandemic. G-7 governments have said they will work on a plan to ensure vaccines and cures for the next pandemic can be deployed in 100 days through better sharing of data and technology.

Biden visite l’Europe

More coverage of the President’s trip, selected by the editorial staff

Write to Max Colchester at [email protected]

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