World Health Organization admits China never reported coronavirus outbreak

Elias Hubbard
July 5, 2020

Mike Ryan, head of the WHO's emergencies program, said it would be unwise to predict when a vaccine could be ready against COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus that has killed more than half a million people.

Ryan said the WHO was trying to verify reports of hoarding of medical supplies in the USA - which has the world's highest COVID-19 death toll at more than 127,000 - and wanted to ensure everyone has access to life-saving materials.

"The WHO quietly updated its "Timeline of WHO's response to COVID-19" on Tuesday following the House Foreign Affairs Committee Republicans' mid-June Interim Report on Origins of COVID-19 Pandemic (led by ranking member and China task force Chairman Rep. Michael McCaul of Texas), which concluded that "despite public reporting to the contrary".

Tedros reiterated that taking a "comprehensive approach" was the best way to rein in the virus.

"Not testing alone. Not physical distancing alone. Not masks alone. Do it all", he said. However, it is also possible that there was an intermediate animal like in the case of SARS.

Following the developments, WHO said that it asked for information on the reported cluster of atypical pneumonia cases in Wuhan from the Chinese authorities on January 1 and wrote to the National Health Commission, offering WHO support and repeating the request for further information on the cluster of cases on January 2.

He warned that such countries face a long, hard road ahead.

"It's never too late", he said, pointing for instance to how Italy and Spain managed to rein in daunting outbreaks earlier this year.

He reiterated the call for equitable access for all, insisting that while the pandemic posed a scientific challenge, "it's also a test of character".

The World Health Organization (WHO) should soon get results from clinical trials it is conducting of drugs that might be effective in treating COVID-19 patients, its Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Friday.

"If the health system stops coping, more people will die". "The report first came from China - that's fact number one - from Wuhan itself", he had said. "The situation on the ground is not lying", World Health Organization emergencies director Michael Ryan told journalists at a briefing hosted by the United Nations correspondents' association in Geneva.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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