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WHO admits “error” after its situation report claimed that India has cases of “community transmission” of Coronavirus: Report

When the WHO had alleged instances of "community transmission" of COVID-19 in the country, the government of India had denied all such claims.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has conceded the misleading nature of an “erroneous” situation report wherein it confused India’s “cluster of Coronavirus cases” with that of “community transmission.” Speaking to a news outlet, WHO informed that the error has been corrected.

Community transmission is defined as the spread of an infection where its source can’t be identified. It is the third stage of disease transmission, while India is currently at stage two or local transmission, where the Coronavirus is spreading among close contacts and the source of the infection can be identified. The organisation has told a news outlet that the error has now been fixed. When the WHO had alleged instances of “community transmission” of COVID-19 in the country, the government of India had denied all such claims.

Joint Secretary (Health Ministry) Lav Agarwal said, “If it happens, we will be the first to tell you. We will tell people to be especially alert…There is no community transmission.” The World Health Organisation has clarified that the transmission scenarios are “self-reported” by member states. The number of reported cases in the world stands at 17 lacs while around 1 lac people had lost their lives.

WHO has now clarified that India has cluster of Coronavirus cases, not community transmission. Most of these clusters are linked the Tablighi Jamaat congregation that took place in the first half of March in the Nizamuddin Markaz in Delhi. Several persons in that event, which included foreign nationals for various countries, were infected, and later they carried the virus to various places of the country. Many of them didn’t come forward despite repeated appeals by the govt, and kept hiding in mosques etc. This has resulted in the emergence of Coronavirus clusters across the country.

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WHO and its director Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus have come under severe criticism for their conduct since the pandemic broke out in China. The organization took long enough in declaring it a pandemic, leading to countries not being vigilant enough on time. In January, WHO had endorsed the conclusion of Chinese authorities that the Novel Coronavirus does not spread from person to person, and stated that it does not recommend any specific health measures for travellers to and from Wuhan.

WHO also ignored Taiwan which had informed them that it has evidence of human-to-human transmission of the virus. Experts are of the view that this laxity and callousness is responsible for the catastrophe that has struck the world and that the organization’s director-general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, like China’s Xi Jinping, should be held accountable for recklessly managing this deadly pandemic. Now, as it turns out, Tedros was accused of covering up epidemics in his home country Ethiopia even while he was the health minister in the government days before he became the director of the WHO

US President Donald Trump sharply criticized the World Health Organisation on Tuesday, accusing it of being too focused on China and issuing bad advice during the new coronavirus outbreak and saying he would put a hold on US funding for the agency.

“We pay for a majority or the biggest portion of their money. They actually criticized and disagreed with my travel ban at the time I did it. They were wrong. They’ve been wrong about a lot of things. They had a lot of information early and they didn’t want to – they’re very – they seem to be very China-centric,” Trump charged during his news conference on Tuesday.

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