The Independent Panel for Pandemic Readiness and Response of the WHO blames China for slow reaction to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Geneva-based committee released its report on Tuesday.
The WHO blames China for the spread of the virus: Why?
In July, WHO Director-General, Tedros Ghebreyesus, set up the panel to evaluate the global response to COVID-19.
It is co-chaired by ex-Prime Minister of New Zealand Helen Clark and former President of Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
The second report submitted to the WHO Executive Board found that the UN agency was too slow in its reaction.
Sirleaf said that the report clarifies that the world is more reliant on an effective WHO than ever before.
The former leader expressed concern that the UN agency does not get timely access to countries when a potential threat emerges.
She urged WHO member states themselves to provide more resources and opportunities.
In her remarks, Clark said China could also have been faster in its response.
Clark wondered why the discovery of 27 cases in Wuhan was made public only a week after their detection and why the city was not immediately put on lockdown.
She regretted that despite the declaration of a global public health emergency on January 30, many countries took minimal action to prevent the spread.
In her words, “One question is whether it would have helped if WHO had used the word pandemic earlier than it did.”
Noting that ‘pandemic’ is neither used nor defined in the International Health Regulations (2005), its use focuses on a health event’s gravity.