WHO asks China to share specific, real-time data on COVID situation

31 December, 2022 | Pravina Srivastava

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WHO emphasised the importance of immunisation and boosters in protecting persons at high risk from serious illness and death.

According to a statement issued on the WHO website, World Health Organization director Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus met with Chinese authorities and requested precise and real-time data on the epidemiological situation in China.

WHO requested more genetic sequencing data, statistics on illness impact (including hospitalisations, intensive care unit (ICU) admissions, and fatalities), and data on immunisations given and vaccination status, particularly in vulnerable persons and those over 60 years old, during the high-level conference.

WHO emphasised the importance of immunisation and boosters in protecting persons at high risk from serious illness and death.

China’s National Health Commission and the National Disease Control and Prevention Administration briefed WHO on the country’s growing policy and efforts in epidemiology, variant monitoring, immunisation, clinical treatment, communication, and research and development.

During the discussion, WHO urged China to improve its clinical management and effect assessment, and expressed willingness to assist in these areas, as well as in risk communication about vaccination to combat reluctance.

In addition, the WHO urged Chinese scientists to participate more closely in COVID-19 expert networks, including clinical management. According to the announcement, WHO has requested Chinese experts to give extensive data on viral sequencing at a meeting of the Technical Advisory Group on SARS-CoV-2 Virus Evolution on January 3.

“WHO emphasised the necessity of data monitoring and timely disclosure to assist China and the global community in formulating accurate risk assessments and informing effective actions,” according to the statement.

Earlier on Thursday, Ghebreyesus addressed a news conference and stated that the global organisation is concerned about the growing situation in China, where COVID-19 infections are on the rise after limitations were relaxed.