A top World Health Organization (WHO) official said on Monday that the global body cannot compel China to divulge more data on Covid-19’s origin, while adding that it will propose studies needed to take the understanding of where the coronavirus emerged to the “next level”.
Asked by a reporter on how the WHO will “compel” China into being more open, Mike Ryan, director of the agency’s emergencies program, said the “WHO doesn’t have the power to compel anyone in this regard”. “We fully expect cooperation, input, and support of all of our member states in that endeavor,” Ryan said.
US secretary of state Antony Blinken said on Sunday the US needs to delve deeper into the origin of Covid-19 and hold China accountable amid calls for a fresh investigation.
“The most important reason we have to get to the bottom of this is that it’s the only way we’re going to be able to prevent the next pandemic or at least do a better job in mitigating it,” Blinken told Axios.
Stranded Indians seek to return to China
More than 300 Indians who live and work in China but are currently in their home country have petitioned the Chinese government to allow them to return after taking Chinese vaccines from a third country.
In March, Chinese missions in many countries including India said they will facilitate issuing visas to foreigners who need to travel to China if they have taken a China-made vaccine. But New Delhi hasn’t yet approved any China-made vaccine in India. So the group of Indians went to countries such as Nepal, UAE, Maldives, and Malaysia where Chinese vaccines are available to get the jabs.
Moderna seeks nod for teens in Europe, Canada
US firm Moderna is seeking conditional approval for use of its Covid-19 vaccine on teens in the European Union and Canada, in a boost for inoculation campaigns as the summer begins. The firm said it also plans to file for emergency approval with the US FDA, where Pfizer is being administered to adolescents aged 12 and up.