The World Health Organization (WHO) has taken a strong stance against China’s handling of the Covid-19 virus, criticizing the nation for not sharing data on the virus’s origin sooner.
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a press conference on Wednesday that China “could have and should have” shared data on the virus’ origin earlier. He added that “if this had happened, it would have helped us all fight Covid-19 more effectively.”
China has come under criticism from other countries for its handling of the pandemic, particularly its initial attempts to downplay the seriousness of the virus and its lack of transparency about the spread of the virus. In particular, the country has been accused of withholding important data about the virus’s origin and transmission, which could have helped to inform global public health strategies.
Ghebreyesus said that “it is understandable that countries want to know the origin of the virus” and urged China to continue to be transparent and to share what it knows with the rest of the world. He also called on the international community to “work together to strengthen pandemic preparedness and response” and to “minimize the impact of this virus on all of us.”