Australia’s Call For Independent Investigation Into Coronavirus Has Been Approved
The World Health Assembly has agreed to pursue an independent investigation into the coronavirus after Australia led the call for answers.
Dozens of countries met to discuss the pandemic and more than 130 backed Australia's push for a thorough inquiry with no objections.
The resolution requires the World Health Organisation to 'initiate, at the earliest appropriate moment' an 'impartial, independent and comprehensive evaluation' of the WHO-coordinated response to Covid-19.
The main aim of the probe is to 'identify the zoonotic source of the virus and the route of introduction to the human population, including the possible role of intermediate hosts'.
The motion didn't mention China or Wuhan and instead focuses on finding out how the virus was created so that we can prevent a similar outbreak in the future.
It states the hope is to 'reduce the risk of similar events as well as to provide guidance on how to prevent SARS-COV2 infection in animals and humans and prevent the establishment of new zoonotic reservoirs, as well as to reduce further risks of emergence and transmission of zoonotic diseases'.
Australia's federal health minister Greg Hunt was present at the meeting and told the assembly: "We need to learn the lessons from this pandemic and ensure we have the strongest possible global health architecture, with an enhanced ability to prevent and respond to future outbreaks."
Following news Australia's motion had been approved, Mr Hunt said he was 'delighted' that the world was taking action.
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Delighted that the WHA Assembly has passed by consensus the Motion calling for an impartial, independent & comprehensive examination of the global response to COVID-19.- Greg Hunt (@GregHuntMP) May 19, 2020
The support of 137 co sponsors further strengthens this as a key step to protect against future pandemics.
"Delighted that the WHA Assembly has passed by consensus the Motion calling for an impartial, independent & comprehensive examination of the global response to COVID-19," he wrote on Twitter.
"The support of 137 co sponsors further strengthens this as a key step to protect against future pandemics."
But Australia's barracking for this investigation has come at a cost.
Tensions between Australia and China have risen, with threats of industry boycotts starting to gather ferocity.
A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman told reporters that Australia calling for an inquiry would 'disrupt international cooperation in fighting the pandemic'.
"Currently, with the pandemic still spreading across the world, the most pressing task is to put people's life and health first and work together to defeat the virus," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said.
"At such a critical juncture, it is highly irresponsible to resort to politically motivated suspicion and accusation.
"We advise the Australian side to put aside ideological bias and political games, focus on the welfare of the Australian people and global public health security, follow the international community's collective will for cooperation, and contribute to the global cooperation in fighting the virus, instead of doing things to the contrary."
The country has since slapped an 80 per cent tariff on barley imports from Australia, which could cripple farmers.
Featured Image Credit: PA