Investigation accuses China of delaying information to WHO

China’s delay in transmitting crucial information about the corona virus to the World Health Organization (AP) investigation finds that WHO officials complained privately during the January investigation that Pekinne did not have enough data to assess the virus.

An investigation by AssociatedPress (AP), published on Tuesday, June 2, and based on internal documents and records, suggests that Beijing would have delayed in January by providing critical data on the coronavirus epidemic to the WHO.

According to the US News Agency, WHO officials behind the scenes, from the second week in January, complain of significant delays from China and expressed frustration that they did not get the information they needed to assess the virus’s dangerousness in time.

At the same time, the WHO publicly and officially praised the Chinese authorities’ swift response to the decoronavirus epidemic, repeatedly thanking Beijing for “immediately” sharing the genetic map of the virus and praising openness.

“We only have a minimum amount of information”

Indeed, China has waited more than a week before releasing the genetic map, or genome, of the virus, after three different government labs completely decoded it. According to dozens of interviews and internal journals and documents consulted by AP, close information control and competition within the Chinese public health system are behind these delays.

Chinese health officials did not release the genome until after a local lab published on a virology site on January 11, which revitalized the authorities. Despite this, China has reportedly continued to block for at least two more weeks and sent additional information to the WHO, according to data on several internal meetings that took place in January, before the epidemic began to escalate into a pandemic.

“We have minimal information,” said the American epidemiologist Maria VanKerkhove, now WHO’s technical director for Covid-19, during an internal meeting. “Obviously, it’s not enough that you plan well.”

“We are currently at that stage where, yes, they are giving us fifteen minutes before[l’information]does not appear in the air on CCTV “, the Chinese state TV, lamented, at another meeting, DrGaudenGalea, senior WHO official in China, as a reference.

The data revealed by AP also shows that WHO officials have publicly braided warehouses in China to get more information about the virus. The agency, which is obliged to quickly share information and warnings about a developing crisis with the member states, n he does not have the power to force a government to communicate its tasks to her, she can only trust the cooperation of the states.

However, in one of the tapes, Dr. GaudenGalea said that the WHO could not give in to China’s willingness to validate the information before it was shared with other countries because “it does not fulfill the Agency’s obligations”.

“We have to see the data …”

In an emergency, WHO teams work together to put pressure on Beijing to obtain genetic sequences and detailed information on patients without causing anger from the Chinese authorities. This is not to risk losing access to data and avoiding causing problems for Chinese researchers.

During the second week of January, WHO Director of Emergency Programs told Dr. Michael Ryan’s colleagues said it was time to “increase the gear” and train more. pressure on China, for fear of a repeat of the SARS epidemic (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) that began in this country in 2002 and killed almost 800 people worldwide.

“It’s exactly the same scenario: we are constantly trying to get updates from China on the situation,” he said. “WHO has barely escaped unharmed given the transparency problems that have arisen in southern China.”

Dr. Michael Ryana also lamented the fact that China did not cooperate in the same way as some other countries had done before. “This would not happen in DR Congo and not happen in DRC and elsewhere,” he said, referring probably to the Ebola epidemic that began in this country in 2018. “We need to see the information … This is absolutely necessary at this time.”

It was not until January 30 that the WHO decided that the coronavirus epidemic was “a public health crime of international concern”. At that time, the epidemic, born in Wuhan, had another record more than 8,100 people infected and 170 dead, with cases of human-to-human transmission outside of China, including the United States. To date, more than 375,000 people have died from Covid-19 worldwide.

On May 6, amid international tensions with Washington, Pekina expressed her refusal to launch an international investigation into the origin of the coronavirus, as long as the Covid-19 pandemic lasted, but on May 19, 194 WHO member states, including China, have adopted a resolution providing for an “independent assessment” of the UN agency’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Ten days later, President Trump, who had already robbed WHO US funds, announced that he would end the relationship between his country and the agency, which had become one of his prime targets since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, and was accused of subordinating China.