World Health Organization team to reach China next week to probe COVID-19 origin

WHO says local flare-ups were inevitable as some nations began lifting lockdown restrictions

The coronavirus has hit at least 11.2 million people and killed 529,000 worldwide.

Unfortunately, the pandemic isn't even nearing its climax.

On December 31, 2019, the WHO's Country Office in China picked up a media statement by the Wuhan Municipal Health Commission from their website on cases of "viral pneumonia" in Wuhan, according to the chronology of events enumerated by the WHO.

World Health Organization says a review of the interim results showed hydroxychloroquine and lopinavir/ritonavir "produce little or no reduction in the mortality of hospitalized COVID-19 patients when compared to standard of care".

And now, a new chronology released by the United Nations body clarifies that WHO's office in China apprised about "viral pneumonia".

Following the developments, WHO said that it asked for information on the reported cluster of atypical pneumonia cases in Wuhan from the Chinese authorities on January 1 and wrote to the National Health Commission, offering WHO support and repeating the request for further information on the cluster of cases on January 2.

World Health Organization raised its "highest level of alarm" on January 30 after Tedros held a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping during his visit to China, and on January 31, it advised countries to keep their borders open despite the outbreak, although it noted that countries had the right to take measures to try to protect their citizens.

29 killed as train hits bus carrying Sikh pilgrims in Pakistan
Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar expressed sorrow at the loss of lives and conveyed condolences to the families of the deceased. In February, at least 20 people were killed when a train collided with a bus in the southern province of Sindh.

China finally replied on January 3.

As per rules, countries have to inform WHO about a potential health threat within 24 to 48 hours.

The Global Times also stated "US and Australian politicians including US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have, without any proof, repeatedly blamed China for causing the coronavirus pandemic and accused a Wuhan lab of leaking the virus".

On a related note, Ryan urged countries on Friday to contain the virus' spread. "The situation on the ground is not lying", Ryan said.

He said he understands countries are emerging from lockdowns to save their economies, but "you can't ignore the problem either. The problem will not magically go away".

"If countries proceed with opening up without the capacity to cope with the likely caseload, then you end up in a worst-case scenario", Ryan warned. Dr. Michael Ryan said the world will be much better at fighting a second wave, if people can learn the lessons of fighting the first wave.

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