Monday, March 8

Tag: WHO

WHO investigators plan to scrap interim report on probe into Covid-19
Lifestyle, World

WHO investigators plan to scrap interim report on probe into Covid-19

A World Health Organization (WHO) team probing into the origins of coronavirus is planning to scrap an interim report on its recent mission to China amid mounting tensions between Beijing and Washington over the investigation and an appeal from one international group of scientists for a new probe, according to Wall Street Journal report. In an open letter, a group of two dozen scientists has called for an international inquiry. They have stated that the WHO team, which had last month completed a mission to Wuhan -- the origin of coronavirus had "insufficient access to adequately investigate possible sources of the new coronavirus, including whether it slipped from a laboratory". This comes after a team of WHO experts, which had launched a probe into the origin of the COVID-19 in Wuhan...
WHO backs AstraZeneca jab in boost for poor countries
Lifestyle, World

WHO backs AstraZeneca jab in boost for poor countries

 The World Health Organisation yesterday approved the coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca, in a boost for poorer countries where millions of doses are set to be distributed. While inoculation drives have been gaining pace, with nearly 172 million vaccine doses given worldwide, most of the jabs have so far gone to richer countries. The AstraZeneca shot, which is easier to store and transport than some of its rivals, will account for almost all the doses set to be shipped under Covax, an international programme designed to ensure that poor countries do not miss out. “Today we have even more reason to be hopeful of bringing the Covid-19 pandemic under control,” WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a media briefing. Governments are pinning their hopes on ...
WHO Team Finds ‘Australian Beef’ May Have Started Covid-19 Virus, Not Wuhan Wet-Food Market
World

WHO Team Finds ‘Australian Beef’ May Have Started Covid-19 Virus, Not Wuhan Wet-Food Market

It's been well over a year since the Coronavirus broke out and was first reported in China's Wuhan Province. Since then, many countries, including the United States, have accused China of not coming clean on the origins of the virus, which has claimed 2.34 million lives. Now, a team of 14 scientists, belonging to the World Health Organisation (WHO), investigating several accusations, including that the virus might have leaked from a lab in Wuhan, have concluded their probe. According to a report in Daily Mail, the WHO investigators have backed the ruling Communist Party's claims that "cold-chain products" such as Australian beef, may have caused the initial outbreak. Peter Embarek, the leader of the WHO team, also said that studies should be carried out to find if the virus was imp...
WHO team probing Covid origins in China to brief media today
World

WHO team probing Covid origins in China to brief media today

An international team of experts wrapping up a month spent in China investigating the Covid-19 pandemic’s origins will brief the media in Wuhan today, the WHO announced. “The international team working to understand the origins of the Covid-19 virus is completing its four weeks’ stay in Wuhan, China and together with their Chinese colleagues will participate in a press conference,” the World Health Organization said yesterday. The briefing will be held at 3:30pm (0730 GMT) at a hotel in the city, the Chinese foreign ministry said. It will be live-streamed in English on the UN health agency’s digital and social media platforms. The first Covid-19 cases were detected in Wuhan in December 2019. Scientists think the disease — which has gone on to kill more than 2.3 million people wor...
WHO slams critics of Covid-19 origins probe
World

WHO slams critics of Covid-19 origins probe

The World Health Organisation (WHO) yesterday blasted critics of its investigation into the origins of the Covid-19 pandemic and challenged those claiming to know better to come forward with the smoking gun. A WHO investigative team is in Wuhan, China ― where the first cases were discovered in December 2019 ― trying to piece together how the virus jumped from animals to humans before going on to kill more than two million people. The UN agency's emergencies director Michael Ryan hit out at those sniping at the mission and said people claiming they have information on how the pandemic broke out should emerge from the shadows. Ryan said many critics were saying they “won't accept the report when it comes out”, or that there is “other intelligence available that may show different find...
WHO team in China’s Wuhan visits provincial CDC
World

WHO team in China’s Wuhan visits provincial CDC

 A World Health Organization-led team investigating the origins of the Covid-19 pandemic today visited the Center for Disease Control and Prevention in China’s central region of Hubei, where the outbreak emerged in late 2019. The group of independent experts spent about 4.5 hours on its longest site visit since completing two weeks of quarantine on Thursday, and did not speak to waiting journalists. The WHO, which has sought to manage expectations for the mission, has said its members would be limited to visits organised by their Chinese hosts and have no contact with community members, because of health curbs. The group has so far also visited hospitals where early cases were detected, markets, and an exhibition on the battle with the outbreak in the provincial capital of Wuhan. ...
WHO says new Covid-19 variants now in dozens of countries
Highlights, World

WHO says new Covid-19 variants now in dozens of countries

New Covid-19 variants that make the virus more contagious and could render vaccine and antibody protection less effective have spread rapidly across dozens of countries, the World Health Organization said yesterday. In its latest epidemiological update, the UN health agency said the more contagious Covid-19 variant first spotted in Britain had by January 25 spread to 70 countries across all regions of the world. That variant, known as VOC 202012/01 or B.1.1.7 and has been proven to transmit more easily than previous variants of the virus, had thus spread to 10 more countries over the past week, the WHO said. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson last week also warned that fresh studies had indicated the strain could be more deadly, but the WHO stressed yesterday that those “results...
WHO says too early to draw Covid-19 origin conclusions
World

WHO says too early to draw Covid-19 origin conclusions

The World Health Organisation (WHO) said yesterday it was too early to draw any conclusions from its mission to Wuhan as to whether the Covid-19 pandemic started in China.A team of WHO experts arrived in Wuhan on January 14 to start probing the origins of the deadly coronavirus, more than a year after the first cases were detected in the central Chinese city. They were whisked to a hotel to complete a two-week quarantine. China is braced for the scrutiny the expert team of WHO scientists will bring to its virus narrative. Beijing has drip-fed the idea that the pandemic started outside of its borders. “All hypotheses are on the table. And it is definitely too early to come to a conclusion of exactly where this virus started, either within or without China,” said WHO emergencies dir...
WHO-led team in China will start meetings online from quarantine
Highlights, World

WHO-led team in China will start meetings online from quarantine

A World Health Organization-led team investigating the origins of Covid-19 are to begin virtual meetings with their Chinese hosts from a hotel in China's Wuhan, where the pandemic first emerged, on Friday. Their arrival at the city in central China on Thursday was disrupted by the absence of two members who failed coronovirus antibody tests in Singapore. "Team now undergoing the mandatory 14 days quarantine & being treated very well by our hosts. Work begins today, day 1, in teleconf. mtgs w/ China team," tweeted team member Peter Daszak, a zoologist. The driveway and parking lot of the boutique hotel where the team are staying was cordoned off with tape on Friday and security personel stood guard at the entrance. The team's arrival in Wuhan came as China is on alert over a...
Serum Institute expects WHO emergency approval for AstraZeneca shot soon
Highlights, India

Serum Institute expects WHO emergency approval for AstraZeneca shot soon

The Serum Institute of India expects WHO emergency-use authorization soon for the Oxford University/AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine, which it is producing for mid and low income countries, its chief executive said. “The emergency use licensure from the WHO (World Health Organization) should be available and coming through in the next week or two, hopefully, because we have submitted everything,” Adar Poonawalla told the Reuters Next conference on Thursday. Poonawalla also said his company, the world’s biggest vaccine maker, would start stockpiling millions of doses of the Novavax coronavirus vaccine candidate from around April. “It will be upwards of 40-50 million doses per month is what we are trying to stockpile of the Novavax product,” he said. The Serum Institute CEO said a spe...
WHO warns coronavirus herd immunity unlikely this year
Health, Lifestyle, World

WHO warns coronavirus herd immunity unlikely this year

Scientists at the World Health Organisation (WHO) warned that mass vaccinations would not bring about herd immunity to the coronavirus this year, even as one leading producer boosted its production forecast. Infections numbers are surging around the world, especially in Europe where nations have been forced to ramp up virus restrictions even as vaccines are rolled out The WHO's chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan warned Monday that it would take time to produce and give enough shots to halt the spread of the virus, which has infected more than 90 million people worldwide with deaths approaching two million. “We are not going to achieve any levels of population immunity or herd immunity in 2021,” she said, stressing the need to maintain physical distancing, hand-washing and mask-wea...
Don’t expect a conclusion from WHO’s China visit, says expert
World

Don’t expect a conclusion from WHO’s China visit, says expert

By Miyoung Kim and Sayantani Ghosh SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Expectations should be "very low" that a World Health Organization team of experts tasked with investigating the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic will reach a conclusion from their trip to China this month, a health expert affiliated with the WHO said. "I would be inclined to set the expectations of a conclusion very low for this visit," Dr. Dale Fisher, chair of the Global Outbreak Alert & Response Network coordinated by the WHO, said in an interview on Monday at the Reuters Next conference. A team of international experts from the WHO will arrive in China on Jan. 14, Chinese authorities said on Monday. The National Health Commission, which announced the arrival date, delayed from its early January schedule, did not det...
Poorer nations to get virus vaccine early next year: WHO
World

Poorer nations to get virus vaccine early next year: WHO

Poorer countries will begin to receive coronavirus vaccination doses early next year from a facility created to ensure fair access, the World Health Organization and its partners said Friday. Almost two billion doses of candidate vaccines have been secured for the Covax facility, run by the WHO along with the Gavi vaccine alliance and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI). Countries including the United States and Britain have already begun to roll out a vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNtech, with another developed by Moderna expected to gain widespread approval soon. Neither drug is included in the two billion doses, but the WHO said it was in discussions with both companies. “The arrangements announced today will enable all participating economies to h...
Help your children cope with pandemic stress with WHO’s guidelines
Health, Lifestyle

Help your children cope with pandemic stress with WHO’s guidelines

The pandemic may not be directly affecting children as much as the elderly, but their health and well-being during this time is of great essence. Considering how young and unaware they are, the responsibility to educate, nourish and protect them falls on the adults they live with; not just during the pandemic but throughout their early years. Children are directly affected by their surrounding atmospheres like health-care, education, socio-economic changes, violence, and abuse that is directed towards them and if adults do not create a safe environment for them, it becomes difficult for them to flourish. These uncertain times can be confusing and stressful for everyone, not just for children but the WHO states that the manifestation of these sign of stress in children is not as direct a...
WHO promises ‘honest evaluation’ of how world handled Covid-19 pandemic
World

WHO promises ‘honest evaluation’ of how world handled Covid-19 pandemic

The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Thursday 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 of the global agency’s role in the crisis - though the WHO said the review was not linked to the United States. Former New Zealand prime minister Helen Clark and former Liberian president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf have agreed to head the panel, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said. “The magnitude of this pandemic, which has touched virtually everyone in the world, clearly deserves a commensurate evaluation, an honest evaluation,” Tedros told a virtual meeting with diplomats. The panel will provide an interim r...