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India joins rest of the world to find out origin of coronavirus, China isn’t pleased

India is co-sponsoring a resolution, being led by Australia and the European Union, that seeks an independent probe under WHO.

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New Delhi: In a decisive shift in stance, India has joined 62 other countries in backing a draft resolution that seeks to probe the Covid-19 outbreak and its origin even as China continues to vehemently resist such a move, ThePrint has learnt.

India has co-sponsored the resolution, which is being led jointly by Australia and the European Union (EU), aimed at finding out the origin of the virus and its transmission to humans.

The resolution, which calls for an independent probe under the aegis of the World Health Organization (WHO), will be considered as an agenda item at the two-day meeting of the World Health Assembly (WHA) that begins in Geneva Monday.

WHA is the main decision-making body of the WHO.

While the resolution does not mention China or Wuhan, the city where the first case of Covid-19 was reported, it is clear that the 62 countries want an independent inquiry into the matter.

The motion has urged the WHO and its director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus “to identify the zoonotic source of the virus and the route of introduction to the human population, including the possible role of intermediate hosts, including through efforts such as scientific and collaborative field missions, which will enable targeted interventions and a research agenda to reduce the risk of similar events as well as to provide guidance on how to prevent SARS-COV2 infection in animals and humans and prevent the establishment of new zoonotic reservoirs, as well as to reduce further risks of emergence and transmission of zoonotic diseases”.

According to sources, this is the first time since the outbreak that India has taken such a stance that is bound to upset Beijing.

Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, the UK, Russia, Canada, Turkey, and Ukraine are some of the other countries that have supported the draft resolution.

China and the WHO have come under considerable criticism for the pandemic and its spread that forces countries into a lockdown for around two months, leading to a massive global recession.

Beijing, which has vehemently denied that the virus originated from the city of Wuhan, has condemned Australia for its intention to carry out the probe.


Also read: Trump announces US will send ventilators to India, collaborate on developing Covid vaccine


India’s tense tenure at WHO 

India will soon assume the chairmanship of the WHO’s executive board, a decision on which will be taken at a meeting of the multilateral body on 22 May.

It has already come under a diplomatic tussle between the US and China to recognise Taiwan’s older status as an ‘observer’ in WHA.

New Delhi and Canberra are on the same page in strengthening the WHO and having an international independent review into the into the genesis and spread of Covid-19, Australian High Commissioner-designate to India Barry O’Farrell told ThePrint in an interview earlier this month.

The matter is also going to be discussed during a virtual summit meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison, which is going to be held later this month.

At the G20 virtual summit in March, Modi had spoken about strengthening the WHO and empowering it so that it can deal with future pandemics more effectively.


Also read: Jaishankar raises terrorism at SCO Covid meet, says it’s still overwhelming threat


 

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2 COMMENTS

  1. I think everyone , has the right to information of the origin of such a pandemic in the 21st century that has affected millions of families jobs business and playing havoc with lives and economy world wide. If there is no research and investigation done it will be a shame and can cause severe threats in future. Every country must join to ask for investigation as a moral duty towards their citizens.

  2. An appropriate step Initiated by India. Despite of all ill-efforts continued to be done by china to corner India in all fronts, India never had given a retreat to China. Now the time has ripen to give response in same coin to aggressive an malicious china. Historically we had lost the Opportunity to become great power, by sacrificing U.N.O Permanent Membership to china. By Letting Tibet to be occupied Cruelly and occupying Aksai-Chin at last to sit on our head . We never played nefariously against china. Now embarrass china by supporting Taiwan, raising Uighur- Muslim incarceration Issue , Hong-Kong Independence and fighting against south china sea islands occupation issue and so on……….

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