No time to waste, singular focus stopping the coronavirus pandemic: WHO

WION Web Team
Washington Published: Apr 15, 2020, 06:16 PM(IST)

World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

The US move was criticised by several nations including China and Russia 

After US President Trump froze funding to the World Health Organization(WHO), director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that the international health body's "singular focus is on working to serve all people to save lives and stop the COVID-19 pandemic."

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In a statement on Wednesday, the White House had said that President Trump was "halting funding of the World Health Organization" while a review is conducted to assess "WHO's role in mismanaging the coronavirus outbreak."

The move was criticised by several nations including China and Russia. The virus which originated from Wuhan has now engulfed the world, China reacting to the US move said the situation is grim and it will hamper cooperation at a time when the virus is making rapid strides.

"China is seriously concerned about the US announcement to suspend funding for the World Health Organization" -- Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said.

"The US government's decision to suspend funding to WHO is deeply regrettable," African Union commission chairman Moussa Faki Mahamat said, even as German foreign minister Heiko Maas said blaming others won't help, adding that "the virus knows no borders."

Russian deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkovs said: "It is a sign of the very selfish approach of the US authorities to what is happening in the world due to the pandemic."

"Such a blow to this organization just when the international community is looking towards it... is a step worthy of condemnation and every reproach," it added. 

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