Is COVID-19 a bioweapon? Here's what the experts say

WHO leader refuses to be invested until 'several conditions' are met

The new record of cases comes at the time of a dispute between the WHO and US President Donald Trump, who has accused the organization of mishandling the pandemic and leaning towards China.

Mr Ghebreyesus said the resolution by the World Health Assembly on Tuesday sets out a clear roadmap of the critical activities and actions that must be taken to sustain and accelerate the response at the national and global levels.

Director-General of the WHO Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, attends a news conference on the coronavirus (COVID-2019) in Geneva, Switzerland February 24, 2020.

"But in terms of attack rates, the highest attack rates are actually in Amazonas: about 490 persons infected per 100,000 population, which is quite high", he said of Brazil's vast northwestern state.

Celebrated US epidemiologist Larry Brilliant told AFP that the WHO's structure was complicated by the fact that countries vote on every subject, meaning the United Nations agency itself has no independent authority.

Tedros has always promised a post-pandemic review and "accountability".

It also calls on the worldwide community to provide the World Health Organization with sustainable funding in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"This was critical to the Republic of Korea curtailing the first wave and now quickly identifying and containing new outbreaks", he said.

That work, also looking at the possible role of intermediate hosts, should include "scientific and collaborative field missions".

Mr. Tedros this week endorsed the rising calls for an inquiry into the origins and handling of the pandemic, and said it will happen "at the earlier appropriate moment".

The current COVID-19 pandemic can only be effectively controlled by a global campaign in which all countries have to play their part.

The resolution, co-sponsored by more than 130 countries, was adopted by consensus.

It calls for the intensification of efforts to control the pandemic, and for equitable access to and fair distribution of all essential health technologies and products to combat the virus.

Early on day one, member states unanimously chose to kick the can down the road on whether to grant Taiwan observer status.

The World Health Assembly will reconvene later in the year.

The row on Taiwan had threatened to overshadow this week's brief gathering. Only the United States and Russian Federation have counted more cases than Brazil has.

"Brazil is only testing people who end up in the hospital", Domingo Alves, a public health expert from the University of São Paulo Medical School, told AFP news agency last week.



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