Australia's Call for Coronavirus Probe Backed by Over 100 Countries

62 Countries Back Joint Australia-EU Initiative For Independent Inquiry Into COVID-19 Outbreak

The World Health Organization bowed to calls Monday from most of its member states to launch an independent probe into how it managed the worldwide response to the coronavirus, which has been clouded by finger-pointing between the US and China over a pandemic that has killed over 300,000 people and leveled the global economy.

Xi also said that vaccine development and deployment of vaccines in China would be made a "global public good" and said that China supported a review of the global response to the outbreak after it is brought under control.

World Health Organization however says such a move would require a resolution by member states, who in 1972 decided Beijing was China's sole legitimate representative.

This is the first time that India has formally articulated its stand on the Covid-19 outbreak.

"I don't want to speculate about the outcome. but importantly, the encouragement and input of so many parties is in fact, I think, a real signal of the importance of the call for an independent global review", she said on Monday.

According to a Monday New York Post report, China said it would cooperate with the investigation.

A resolution drafted by the European Union called for an independent evaluation of the WHO's performance and appeared to have won consensus backing among the health body's 194 states.

Donald Trump has enthusiastically told his 80 million Twitter followers he is behind the Australian-backed push for an independent COVID-19 inquiry. He said that would only result in "hijacking the WHA and undermining global anti-pandemic co-operation".

The report noted the World Health Organization ignored Taiwan's early requests for information about the pandemic, which it said created "critical delays" in how other countries responded. It has highlighted our strengths and our vulnerabilities. "And geopolitical divisions have been thrown into sharp relief".

For its part, China said Monday that it would provide $2 billion over two years to help with the response to the pandemic.

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Washington is locked in an increasingly bitter spat with Beijing, where the pandemic began late a year ago.

China has strenuously denied accusations of a cover up, insisting it has always shared information with the World Health Organization and other countries in a timely manner.

Almost nine in 10 respondents (87 percent) said they'd support legislation that would designate "medical equipment, medical supplies and critical pharmaceuticals" as "critical health supplies", limiting USA purchases of these goods to countries considered allies.

"Six months ago it would have been inconceivable to most that the world's biggest cities would fall eerily quiet".

The World Health Organisation received praise from many countries but fierce criticism from the United States at its virtual assembly, as members sought to agree a joint response to COVID-19 - and assurances that any vaccine would be available to all.

Azar said the United States supported "an independent review of every aspect of WHO's response".

The review must encompass responsibility of 'all actors in good faith, ' he said.

Chinese President Xi Jinping said, "China supports a comprehensive evaluation of the global response to the epidemic after the global epidemic is under control, to sum up experiences and remedy deficiencies".

"Initial information on case fatality rate, severity, and transmissibility furnished by China in early January reflected an incomplete picture of the virus, but were updated by the WHO Secretariat following a country office mission to Wuhan from 20 to 21 January", it said.

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