Taiwan is blaming the World Health Organization’s relationship with China for its failure to act on early warnings of human-to-human transmission of coronavirus.
Taiwanese health officials alerted WHO of the infectivity of coronavirus in late December 2019, but the organization failed to report the claims to other countries, according to a Financial Times report.
Weeks after receiving Taiwan’s warning, on Jan. 14, WHO repeated China’s claim that coronavirus was not contagious among humans.
Taiwan reported its concerns to a WHO framework called the International Health Regulations on Dec. 31, 2019. The IHR framework is intended to be an exchange of epidemic data between 196 countries.
“While the IHR’s internal website provides a platform for all countries to share information on the epidemic and their response, none of the information shared by our country’s [Centers for Disease Control] is being put up there,” Taiwanese Vice President Chen Chien-Jen told the Financial Times.
“The WHO could not obtain first-hand information to study and judge whether there was human-to-human transmission of COVID-10. This led it to announce human-to-human transmission with a delay, and an opportunity to raise the alert level both in China and the wider world was lost,” Chen added.
WHO declined to comment on Taiwan’s accusation, telling the Financial Times it holds “frank and open discussions on sometimes sensitive issues” with countries and in order to maintain trust it needs to “respect the confidentiality of such communications.”
Author: Andrew Kerr
Source: Daily Caller: Taiwan Says It Warned WHO About Coronavirus In December, But Its Warnings Were Ignored