W.H.O. Stopped Medical Experts From Coronavirus Travel Bans

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Denied 

The Headline

W.H.O. Stopped Medical Experts From Coronavirus Travel Bans

The Grind

Medical experts wanted to recommend travel bans for nations to help stop the spread of the Chinese coronavirus in the early days of the pandemic. World Health Organization (WHO) bureaucrats stopped them from making those recommendations.

A report by Australia’s Sky News revealed that on January 30, WHO bureaucrats met with a group of doctors and medical experts to discuss a response to the coronavirus, which at the time was spreading from Wuhan, China, to nations like the United States, Italy, Iran, and South Korea. The report is based on the meeting’s official records.

The Details

The WHO bureaucrats met with the experts in Geneva, Switzerland, and successfully stopped them from suggesting travel bans as a life-saving solution to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

Sky News digital editor Jack Houghton said in an on-air report:

[WHO] actually decided not to go ahead with [travel ban recommendations] and not declare a global health emergency but there were a few dissenting voices. So the official meeting records say there was a divergence of views but they won’t actually go into detail about who was trying to block it. But there were doctors there who wanted to issue travel bans and the World Health Organization blocked it. Read more…

 

 

 

 

 

Withholding

The Headline

China Didn’t Warn Public of Pandemic for 6 Key Days

In the six days after top Chinese officials secretly determined they likely were facing a pandemic from a new coronavirus, the city of Wuhan at the epicenter of the disease hosted a mass banquet for tens of thousands of people; millions began traveling through for Lunar New Year celebrations.

President Xi Jinping warned the public on the seventh day, Jan. 20. But by that time, more than 3,000 people had been infected during almost a week of public silence, according to internal documents obtained by The Associated Press and expert estimates based on retrospective infection data.

 

The Details

Six days.

That delay from Jan. 14 to Jan. 20 was neither the first mistake made by Chinese officials at all levels in confronting the outbreak, nor the longest lag, as governments around the world have dragged their feet for weeks and even months in addressing the virus.

But the delay by the first country to face the new coronavirus came at a critical time – the beginning of the outbreak. China’s attempt to walk a line between alerting the public and avoiding panic set the stage for a pandemic that has infected almost 2 million people and taken more than 126,000 lives.

“This is tremendous,” said Zuo-Feng Zhang, an epidemiologist at the University of California, Los Angeles. “If they took action six days earlier, there would have been much fewer patients and medical facilities would have been sufficient. Read more…

 

 

 

 

 


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