WHO sets up panel to review handling of Covid-19 pandemic
The panel will provide an interim report to an annual meeting of health ministers being reconvened in November.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Thursday that it was setting up an independent panel to review its handling of the Covid-19 pandemic and the response by governments.
The announcement follows strong criticism by US President Donald Trump's administration, which accused the WHO of being "China-centric", and US formal notification on Tuesday that it was withdrawing from the UN agency in a year's time.
Our ?? is challenged in ways we never could've forecasted. How we can best prepare for the future is vital. I'm honoured to help build understanding of how to move forward. If our panel can reinforce the need for multilateralism, we will have done our job-@HelenClarkNZ #COVID19 pic.twitter.com/HyUJC0LTC3- World Health Organization (WHO) (@WHO) July 9, 2020
Former New Zealand prime minister Helen Clark and former Liberian president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf have agreed to head the panel and chose its members, WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a virtual meeting with representatives of WHO's 194 member states, which was webcast.
"This is not a standard report that ticks a box and is then put on a shelf to gather dust. This is something we take seriously," Tedros said, adding that the panel would provide an interim report to an annual meeting of health ministers being reconvened in November.
Look forward to doing all we can to respond to the challenges that have prevented us from being united to address effects of #COVID19 and ensure better health systems around the world-@MaEllenSirleaf pic.twitter.com/me04YXipg5- World Health Organization (WHO) (@WHO) July 9, 2020
Clark, addressing the meeting, said that the assignment "could only be described as exceptionally challenging".
Tedros noted that in May, WHO's member states adopted unanimously a resolution put forward by the EU calling for an evaluation of the global response to the pandemic.
More than 12 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 548,429? have died, according to a Reuters tally.
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