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World health organization's response to the covid-19 pandemic

The meaning of «world health organization's response to the covid-19 pandemic»

The World Health Organization is a leading organization involved in the global coordination for mitigating the COVID-19 pandemic, within the broader United Nations response to the pandemic caused by the emergence of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 in late 2019.

On 5 January 2020, the WHO notified the world about a "pneumonia of unknown cause" in China and subsequently followed up with investigating the disease. On 20 January, the WHO confirmed human-to-human transmission of the disease. On 30 January, the WHO declared the outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern and warned all countries to prepare. On 11 March, the WHO said that the outbreak constituted a pandemic. By 5 October the same year, the WHO estimated that a tenth of the world's population had been infected with the novel virus.

The WHO has spearheaded several initiatives like the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund to raise money for the pandemic response, the UN COVID-19 Supply Chain Task Force, and the solidarity trial for investigating potential treatment options for the disease. The WHO's COVAX vaccine-sharing program aims to distribute 2 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccine for free or at a reduced cost by the end of 2021,[1][2] and has begun distributing them.[3]

The WHO's handling of the initial outbreak of the pandemic has required a "diplomatic balancing act" between member states, in particular between the United States and China.[4][5][6] On August 27, the WHO announced the setting up of an independent expert Review Committee to examine aspects of the international treaty that governs preparedness and response to health emergencies. A WHO-led international mission arrived in China in January 2021 to investigate the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic and released preliminary findings in February 2021.[7][8]

The World Health Organization has provided state-endorsed guidance and has set norms and standards on outbreak preparedness and response, in accordance to its role of providing guidance and assisting with coordination in controlling the international spread of diseases. However, the WHO does not have the power to legally enforce its recommendations.[9]

In December 2020, it was reported that a WHO-led international mission was expected to travel to China in the first week of January 2021 to investigate the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic.[7]

On 31 December 2020, the World Health Organization granted emergency use listing for the Tozinameran – COVID-19 mRNA vaccine (nucleoside modified) – Comirnaty.[144][145]

In January 2021, the WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said he had called on China to allow the investigation team in and expressed his dismay after China blocked the arrival of the mission's 10 virologists.[146][147] A few days later, permission was granted for the team to arrive.[148][149][150] Mike Ryan, WHO emergencies chief, said that the purpose of the trip was to find "the answers here that may save us in future - not culprits and not people to blame". A WHO-affiliated health expert said expectations that the team would reach a conclusion from their trip should be "very low".[151] U.S. officials denounced the investigation as a "Potemkin exercise" and criticised the "terms of reference" allowing Chinese scientists do the first phase of preliminary research.[152][153] Epidemiologist Fabian Leendertz, who is part of the team, clarified that the mission is a data-based investigation and advised against "Trump style finger-pointing." Leendertz also made clear that the WHO would manage the complex and sensitive relations with China over access issues amid some people's concerns that China might try to obstruct the work.[154]

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