10% could have been contaminated globally: WHO

Aditi Tandon

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 5

Chairing a two-day special session of the WHO executive board on the Covid pandemic, India called for an urgent and impartial review of lessons learnt from the world body-led global disease response amid more than a million global deaths.

Uneven pandemic: D-G

The WHO Director-General, Tedros Adhanom, said although all nations had been affected, “it is an uneven pandemic. Ten nations make up 70 per cent of all cases/deaths and three account for half”. The US, India and Brazil account for half of the world’s cases.

Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, who chaired the session, said: “There is a need to initiate, at the earliest appropriate moment and in consultation with the member states, a step-wise process for an impartial, independent and comprehensive evaluation, including using existing mechanisms, to review experience gained and lessons learnt from the WHO-coordinated international health response to Covid-19.”

The panel was formed in the wake of several countries led by the US raising questions on China’s role in reporting the pandemic. The US later pulled out of the WHO, accusing it of a delayed response.

As the confirmed cases today reached 3,55,20,361 worldwide with 10,43,080 deaths, the WHO said about 10 per cent of the world’s population may have been infected by now.

“Our current best estimates tell us that about 10 per cent of global population may have been infected by the virus. But what it does mean is that the vast majority of the world continues to remain at risk. The pandemic will continue to evolve and the future will depend on the choices we make,” said WHO Emergency Response chief Michael Ryan.

India’s Covid load today crossed 66 lakh with 55,86,703 recoveries and 84.34 per cent national cure rate. Confirmed cases as of today were 66,23,815, with 74,442 daily infections and higher daily recoveries at 76,737. The toll reached 1,02,685 after 903 deaths in a day. There were 9,34,427 active cases with the government managing to keep the active caseload below 10 lakh for 14 days at a stretch.

The active cases now make up 14.11 per cent of the confirmed cases.

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