Wednesday, 26 February 2020


Experts query China's handling of virus 

 By Primrose Riordan in Hong Kong

 China has won a lot of praise from the World Health Organisation over their handling of the outbreak, but not all health experts agree. Georgetown University global health law professor, Lawrence Gostin, has said experts in his field are “scratching their heads” at the praise WHO officials have directed towards China, and fear it sets a precedent for the future handling of such health crises. Dr Bruce Aylward, who led a recent WHO visit to China, suggested other countries look to the China for advice. Professor Gostin said this went “too far”, adding: WHO has praised the greatest mass cordon sanitaire in the history of humankind, you know, between 15-70 million people unable to have freedom of travel movement subjected to social control and, and intrusive surveillance, electronic surveillance. These things are, you know, are significant human rights concerns, but they're also significant doubts about whether they're effective. Professor Gostin said it was confusing to appear to endorse China’s methods while recommending against other countries implementing travel bans. Separately, a member of a WHO advisory group on infectious outbreaks, Canadian virologist Gary Kobinger, said he was surprised the WHO was suggesting there was not a lot of undetected cases in China. Dr Aylward has said this week the decline in cases China was reporting was “real” and there was no data to support a theory that there was “huge transmission beyond what we can see”. Professor Kobinger said in his view without good serology testing to establish how many people had been exposed to the virus it was not possible to establish yet how many were actually infected. He added that some clinicians were confused about how to handle serious cases. I'm a bit surprised honestly that after 80,000 plus cases that we still don't have clinical protocol agreed by most clinicians that have seen cases, of the procedure [of] what is to be done with different levels of severity.

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