WHO ’s Responsibility Against the World Community for Mishandling COVID-19 – By Shambhavi Singh
With the outbreak of Coronavirus in a province of China called Wuhan; a doctor named Ai Fen first noticed intense flu-like symptoms in Wuhan; months before Chinese officials were forced to confirm the outbreak. According to the study by The Lancet, the first case of coronavirus erupted in the first week of December 2019; which by the doctors corroborated that this virus was transmitted from human to human; yet the Chinese government officials ignored the very existence of such virus in their state; which irrespective of several attempts by doctors was not confirmed. Ai Fen was severely reprimanded for her act of putting a video on We chat; an app used by more than 1 billion people which finally made its way to the whistle-blower, Dr. Li Wenliang who was then called as a liar by Chinese authorities.
Throughout these episodes of video messages and whistleblowing the international forum such as the World Health Organization (WHO) ideally paid no heed to the exigency of the matter concerned. Even after several reports which indicated that Ai Fen has suddenly vanished; WHO did not find it correct to see to the issue; which presumably poses such a threat to the world as they based their opinion given by the Chinese press; which reported that the novel coronavirus is not contagious and it is a normal flu. The dereliction of China led to an apocalyptic diegesis in the world with confirmed cases of 4,431,979; with the death toll rises up to 302,433. The novel coronavirus was declared as a pandemic; in late February by the World Health Organization as per 14th May 2020.
Report Card of World Health Organization w.r.t. China
The empathetic stance of WHO could be seen when their official statement declared; “Preliminary identification of a novel virus in a short period of time is a notable achievement; and demonstrates China’s increased capacity to manage new outbreaks” (Source)
WHO did not recommend any guidance with respect to coronavirus; no specific measures for travelers, rather advised against any restriction of trade with China. Their analysis in the initial phase was completely based on the data presented by Chinese officials. As per Deutsche Welle “China’s contribution to WHO has grown in recent years; rising by 52% from 2014 to approximately $86 million”. In mid-January when eventually China accepted the virus having a human to human transmission; after cases were found in countries like Thailand, the USA, etc.
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus kept praising the Chinese officials of their great presentation; and handling of the novel coronavirus in China. (Source)
Indeed the contribution of China was well reciprocated by the international forum such as WHO; even when it means sacking the lives of people around the world.
The blind faith in the Chinese government has flabbergasted the world by giving numerous vulnerabilities. With surgency of cases, there was also a surge of unemployment, a global economic downturn; and the stagnancy of the lives of several daily-wage workers due to the lack of responsibility; and authority shown by the World Health Organization.
It was the fundamental duty of WHO to check onto the dilapidated disease; which was taking lives in china and alarming the whole nation. If an international organization which was once founded with the sole purpose of welfare of people around the world; and are supposed to be fair and just becomes biased in its opinion; and decision because of the economic support one country provides it with only exhibit the corruption; which has given shelter to such an organization. Since these actions prima facie threatens other countries who are members of such organizations. As these independent bodies are equally responsible to every nation; that are members irrespective of the rule of money that they seem to follow.
At a meeting of the WHO Emergency Committee, panel members express “divergent views”; on whether this event constitutes a “Public Health Emergency of International Concern’ or not. At that time, the advice was that the event did not constitute a PHEIC.”
(National Review on “A comprehensive Timeline of China’s lies on COVID– 19”. Available at https://www.nationalreview.com/the-morning-jolt/chinas-devastating-lies/)
The arrogance of Chinese leadership and ignorance of WHO with respect to novel coronavirus determine; that WHO put a blind eye to its objective of welfare of people as well. It is as much is responsible for the present condition of the world with more than a billion cases; and millions of death around the world as is any other nation. It was not just one act which puts it in question; but series of actions such as even after being alarmed it did put a blind eye to it. When China finally confirmed the existence of such a deadly virus; WHO did more attempt in clearing out the picture of China; and showing its effort rather than alarming other countries and acknowledging its severity.
WHO’s steps in understanding the impact of coronavirus led to apprehensive circumstances. Thus, WHO must take as much responsibility of deaths and socio-economic jeopardy as much as Chinese officials; who glitched the correct data. The support to china of this independent international forum is as much giving them the validation of all the presumable killing; or vanishing of doctors by violating human rights. Those who stood against the government where either dead or disappeared and all of these phenomena were disregarded by WHO. Thus, it can be said that international organizations are manipulated by world politics; and this was one such evidence to prove the scarcity of independent organizations at the international level.
This Article is written by Shambhavi Singh, content writer and legal researcher at Legal Thirst. She is a 2nd year Law student at JIMS School of Law, GGSIPU.