China asks WHO for ‘impartiality’ after health body questions Covid figures

Beijing, Jan 12 (EFE).- China has asked the World Health Organization to be “objective and impartial” in its response to the Covid-19 situation in the Asian country after the WHO director general, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, again cast doubt on the accuracy of the death toll reported by Beijing.

“From the start of the pandemic, China has shared information and data with the international community in an open and transparent way,” Wang Wenbin, China’s foreign ministry spokesman, told a press conference Thursday.

“China has not only protected the lives of its own citizens as much as possible, but has also contributed to the Covid response around the world.

“We also hope that the WHO will analyze China’s response to Covid in a scientific and rational manner, and that its declarations reflect objectivity and impartiality,” he added.

He said that China had held five technical exchange meetings with the WHO in the last month.

“We have also held bilateral meetings with representatives of the European Union to strengthen our Covid-19 response. And, according to the WHO itself, the Covid-19 situation in China is not set to have a significant impact on the epidemiological situation in Europe at this moment.”

China’s rapid dismantling of its zero Covid-19 approach to the pandemic after nearly three years has sparked a rapid surge in cases but also growing questions over the accuracy of the figures being shared with the international community.

Chinese authorities have reported just a few dozen deaths despite a tsunami of infections that have overwhelmed the healthcare system in some cities.

A host of countries revived Covid-19 checks for inbound travelers from China when the country announced it would reopen its borders on January 8, prompting the ire of Beijing, which retaliated with countermeasures.

While many Chinese regions are thought to have surpassed the peak of the latest Covid-19 wave, others have urged citizens to show caution ahead of the Lunar New Year, a busy festive travel period due to begin later this month. EFE


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