The World Health Organization (WHO) called out the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) for its lack of transparency regarding the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak in China after a meeting between officials Tuesday.
The WHO issued a statement on the meeting with Chinese officials Wednesday, stating that it “continue to closely monitor the situation in the People’s Republic of China” and that there’s a “critical need for and importance of additional analysis as well as sharing of sequence data.” The CCP has only reported a handful of deaths in recent weeks from the virus, while some analysts claim true infection numbers could be in the tens of millions and deaths could be more than 10,000 per day.
The World Health Organization has said that China is under-representing the true impact of Covid in the country.
On Tuesday, China said passengers arriving from abroad will no longer have to quarantine.
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Mike Ryan, emergencies director at the WHO, went further in comments to reporters Wednesday. “The current numbers being published from China underestimate the true impact of the disease in terms of hospital admissions and ICU admissions and in terms of deaths,” he said. “The state should be the primary source of credible, accurate information relating to people’s health of which they can take appropriate action.”
Cases and deaths have spiked substantially in China since the CCP lifted its zero-COVID policy in December, although it’s difficult to ascertain just how severe the situation is due to the lack of transparency offered by Chinese authorities. Some prognosticators have projected that the number of Chinese people who may die this year following the abandonment of zero-COVID to be in the millions, as Chinese vaccines are not particularly effective and there is a low level of population-wide natural immunity due to lockdowns. (RELATED: How Did The World Health Organization Became A Mouthpiece For China?)
Critics of the WHO argued during the early days of the pandemic that the body was not doing enough to hold China accountable for the outbreak of COVID-19. The organization’s initial team assembled to investigate the origins of COVID-19 in China was marred by controversy and conflicts of interest among its members. Since, the Director-General of the WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, has acknowledged that a lab leak of COVID-19 is possible and more member countries are calling on China to be open about the severity of its COVID-19 outbreak.