Geneva: The Director-General of the World Health Organization Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Tuesday (January 5, 2021) said that he's 'very disappointed' that China has delayed the entry of the team on COVID-19 virus origins.
"Today we learned that Chinese officials have not yet finalised the necessary permissions for the team’s arrival in China. I am very disappointed with this news given that two members had already begun their journeys and others were not able to travel at the last minute," said WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
Notably, lastly, over the past 24 hours, members of the international scientific team on coronavirus origins began traveling from their home countries to China.
Tedros said this was as per arrangements jointly developed between WHO, the Chinese government, and countries for which the team was meant to travel through on their way to Wuhan.
In a media briefing on COVID-19, the WHO head also stated, "I have been in contact with senior Chinese officials and I have once again made clear that the mission is a priority for WHO and the international team. I have been assured that China is speeding up the internal procedure for the earliest possible deployment."
He added, "We are eager to get the mission underway as soon as possible."
This is to be noted that the WHO has been blamed for its handling of the coronavirus outbreak. The United States President Donald Trump in April 2020, had stopped his country's funding for WHO and said the funding will remain halted till a review is being conducted in the WHO's 'role in severely mismanaging and covering up' the spread of coronavirus.
"The WHO failed in its basic duty and it must be held accountable," Donald Trump had said.
"Had the WHO done its job to get medical experts into China to objectively assess the situation on the ground and to call out China's lack of transparency, the outbreak could have been contained at its source with very little death. This would have saved thousands of lives and avoided worldwide economic damage. Instead, the WHO willingly took China's assurances to face value and defended the actions of the Chinese government," remarked Trump.
Meanwhile, the confirmed COVID-19 cases across the world have increased to 8,44,74,195, according to WHO. Over 222 countries, areas or territories with coronavirus cases have also reported 18,48,704 confirmed deaths.