Can’t force China to give more information on Covid origins: WHO

8 June, 2021 | newsx bureau

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Mike Ryan, director of the agency's emergencies programme, has said that WHO doesn't have the power to compel anyone in this regard. He added that WHO will propose studies needed to take understand...

A top World Health Organisation official said on Monday that the WHO cannot compel China to divulge more data on COVID-19’s origins, while adding it will propose studies needed to take understanding of where the virus emerged to the “next level”. Pressed by a reporter on how the WHO will compel China into being more open, Mike Ryan, director of the agency’s emergencies programme, said at a press conference that the “WHO doesn’t have the power to compel anyone in this regard”.

Whereas India is fighting with the second wave of Covid-19, thousands of china based Indians have become grounded facing returning issues to China. Considering the outbreak of the second wave Covid 19, in March-2021, China has made Chinese vaccines mandatory for everyone.

“For the purpose of resuming people-to-people exchanges in an orderly manner, starting from 15 March 2021, the Chinese Embassies and Consulates in India will provide the persons having taken Chinese-made COVID-19 vaccine and holding the Certificates of Vaccination,” announced a notice posted by the Chinese Embassy in New Delhi.

The announcement put thousands of China-based Indians into a tricky position as India has no such policy of providing Chinese vaccines. Realising the ground reality, over 300 stranded Indians managed to be vaccinated with Chinese vaccines by travelling to some neighbouring countries like Bhutan, the Maldives besides Dubai.

But their entire effort has gone into vain as the Chinese embassy is still not issuing visas to them. Following this, a group of Indians vaccinated with Chinese vaccine has recently sent a written representation to the Chinese Ambassador to India Sun Weidong as to the Indian embassy in Beijing seeking help in their returning as soon as possible.

“Respected H.E Sun Sir, now that we have been successfully vaccinated by the Chinese vaccine, kindly guide us with a way forward. We request you to start visa issuance to Indian nationals, which has been stopped since early November last year,” written by the Indian community in China to the Chinese Ambassador.

In the letter, they attached the names of 202 Indians who have taken Chinese vaccines, but the community also added that over 300 Indians have already been vaccinated with Chinese vaccines. They also promised to follow all the protocols set by the Chinese governing body.

As a reaction to it, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Wang Wenbin replied in a media briefing that they should approach the Chinese embassy in India. When pointed out that they have already approached the Chinese Embassy without any success, Wang said, “I have already stated China’s principled position on this issue. For the details, I would still refer you to the Chinese Embassy in India.”

This position of China on the returning issue made thousands of Indians helpless. Currently, there is no flight service between India and China. Though some Indians could return via Bande Barat flights permitted by China till November last year, still a large number of China-based Indians are hoping for returning to China to join their jobs, business, to meet their families or for continuing their studies.