GLOBALink | UN-championed multilateralism critical in fight against COVID-19: Ugandan official-Xinhua

GLOBALink | UN-championed multilateralism critical in fight against COVID-19: Ugandan official


Editor: huaxia

2021-07-18 18:32:43

As the world is grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic, the fight should be based on science rather than politics, which is likely to derail efforts to contain the pandemic, a Ugandan government spokesperson said on Thursday.

Ofwono Opondo told Xinhua in an interview that efforts to fight the pandemic should be championed through the United Nation (UN) system under the World Health Organization (WHO).

Recent debates, especially initiated by the United States on the coronavirus traceability that questioned WHO's March preliminary findings regarding the lab-leak theory, is likely to undermine the fight against the disease, said Opondo, also the executive director of the Uganda Media Center, a state-run institution.

In its China-WHO Joint Research Report on the Traceability of the COVID-19 issued on March 30, WHO said the introduction of COVID-19 into humans through the laboratory is "very unlikely."

U.S. President Joe Biden in May instructed the Central Intelligence Agency to investigate the "lab leak theory." The Group of 7 member countries also called for an independent investigation.

Opondo said politicizing virus traceability is not helpful, and countries should resort to WHO, the global health body mandated to carry out such investigations.

He argued that the West's push for independent investigations, which seem to be politically motivated, is geared towards pointing an accusing finger at China.

"If they are credible, if they have something serious they want to give, why don't they simply propose to nominate representatives to WHO and every major country contributes scientists to WHO and then they give WHO the freedom to go and trace origin until they find it?" he said.

"My understanding from March was that China and WHO worked together. China was transparent because WHO hasn't complained that they were obstructed by China," he said.

He said like all other accusations such as technology espionage, maligning China over COVID-19, is part of the efforts to undermine China's influence in international affairs.

Opondo said that China continues to play a critical role in the global fight against the pandemic, especially for developing nations.

"China led the fight by sharing what they knew with other parts of the world. They have been leading the fight by sharing resources with the UN, through WHO and bilateral (channels)," he said.

He added that through humanitarian assistance, China has provided logistics support, medical support and vaccine support among others.

"The stringent measures China applied worked. China managed to control the disease spread and actual deaths... China was taking measures that are consistent with the medical advice of WHO," Opondo noted.

Produced by Xinhua Global Service