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China and WHO acted too slowly to contain Covid-19, says independent panel

China and the World Health Organization (WHO) failed to act accordingly in regards to the severity of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to an independent review panel. The panel, based in Switzerland, determined that China did not apply adequate public health measures when the virus was first detected in Wuhan. The report published by the Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response concluded that public health measures should have been enacted more forcefully at both the local and national levels.

The first cases in Wuhan occurred in mid-late December, according to health authorities from Wuhan. However, the cases were not reported until December 31 to the WHO. Wuhan went into lockdown on January 23, however, the virus had already spread to several countries including Japan, South Korea, Thailand, and the US. Countries across the globe have accused Beijing of downplaying the virus’s severity and transmissibility, preventing an effective and timely response.

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