WHO chief, Chinese premier hold Covid talks



The head of the World Health Organisation met Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Saturday for talks on Covid-19, including on the stalled investigation into the pandemic’s origins.

WHO director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, visiting Beijing for the 2022 Winter Olympics, posted a picture on Twitter of the pair sitting with officials in a meeting room.

“Pleased to meet with Premier Li Keqiang. We discussed Covid-19 and the need for an aggressive effort on vaccine equity this year to vaccinate 70 percent of all populations,” Tedros said.

“We also discussed the need for stronger collaboration on Covid-19 virus origins, rooted in science and evidence.

“I welcomed his support to strengthen WHO and discussion about a pandemic accord to advance global preparedness,” he added.

A Chinese government statement on the meeting said Li called for solidarity, cooperation and more understanding among nations to defeat the pandemic.

On tracing the origins of the virus, it said Tedros adhered to scientific principles and opposed politicising the process.

Tedros is paying his first visit to China since January 2020, in the weeks after the first cases of Covid-19 were recorded in Wuhan.

More than 370 million cases and 5.6 million deaths have since been reported to the WHO — figures it says are an underestimate.

Understanding where the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes Covid came from is seen as key to preventing future pandemics.



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