Health Care

Over 100 nations back Australia's coronavirus probe call ahead of World Health Organization event

Over 100 nations back Australia's coronavirus probe call ahead of World Health Organization event”

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The proposed inquiry has been condemned by China and blamed for a bilateral trade rift.

A vote is expected in the early hours of Tuesday.

Earlier this month, the World Health Organization said a wet market in Wuhan, China, the initial epicenter of the virus, could be the source of the outbreak.

Australia's Foreign Minister Marise Payne, who led diplomatic efforts on the motion, said: "We're very encouraged by the growing levels of support for the comprehensive World Health Assembly motion".

"The resolution at the World Health Assembly is an important step towards this".

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At present global cases of infection have surged over 4.7 million, with 313,713 dead and million still sick with the disease.

Australia has been seen as a leader in rallying global support for such an inquiry, attracting Chinese criticism that it is parroting the United States and inviting a Chinese boycott of exports and services.

Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne comments in Penrith Australia Monday

A draft resolution pushed by the European Union and Australia calling for an independent review into the origins and spread of the coronavirus has support from 116 nations at the World Health Assembly, nearly enough for it to pass, a document showed.

The Covid-19 outbreak was detected in central China's Wuhan city late a year ago.

Mr Morrison's approval rating has increased since he announced the inquiry initiative.

"It is not anti-China, it is pro-science, so that we learn about this particular virus on the assumption that at some time in the future, hopefully a long time into the future, there will be more outbreaks of different viruses".

The motion that Australia will put to the World Health Assembly requires the director-general of the World Health Organisation, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, to "initiate at the earliest appropriate moment, and in consultation with the Member States, a stepwise process of impartial, independent and comprehensive evaluation".

Senator Birmingham and the Prime Minister have sought to distance the barley and beef woes from Mr Morrison's push for an investigation into China's handling of the coronavirus outbreak.

Australia's inquiry also wants and evaluation of the "effectiveness of the mechanisms at WHO's disposal and the actions of World Health Organization and their timelines pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic". "We are open to have that discussion, even where there are hard issues to be discussed".

Australia's initial call in April came as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo expressed concern that Chinese officials had failed to promptly report the coronavirus outbreak to the WHO.

The development comes as the number of those infected with the SARS-CoV-2 strain of coronavirus is gradually approaching the five million mark.

More news: Trump softens on cutting funding to WHO



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