Global Body Of Jurists Seeks White Paper On Covid-19 From WHO, Amid The Latter's Perceived Suppression Of Information
The ICJ has called for a 'White Paper' to be released by WHO to "dispel doubts from across the globe on the origin and spread of coronavirus."
If WHO does not part with the required information, it will be failing in its duty and the future will not condone this lapse, the letter warned.
Jurists' body, International Council of Jurists (ICJ), has urged the World Health Organisation to release all scientific and medical information regarding Covid-19 to clear all doubts about the origin of the virus.
The ICJ said that the decision was taken in the light of reports that coronavirus had originated from a laboratory in Wuhan and not from the 'wet market' in Wuhan.
The ICJ called for a 'White Paper' to be released by WHO to "dispel doubts from across the globe on the origin and spread of coronavirus."
In a letter to WHO Director-General, the ICJ said there was a great sense of anguish and concern over the situation arising in various countries with the spread of the novel coronavirus.
"Various scientific, medical and journalistic reports on the origin and spread of this dreaded virus from a laboratory lend credibility to such fears and concerns," ICJ's president and senior advocate Adish C Aggarwala said.
The ICJ said that when the Covid-19 originated in a market in the Wuhan province of China, the world was not informed about the same on time.
The letter pointed out that all the authorities who had a duty to caution the world in advance, did not do so, thereby causing immense loss of lives, relationships and properties to millions of people throughout the world.
"We were very much pained by the indifference of various authorities and lack of concern shown by WHO during this period," the letter stated. Aggarwala drew the attention of WHO to a recent Australian news report — a document written by Chinese scientists and health officials before the pandemic in 2015 — which states that SARS Corona viruses were a "new era of genetic weapons" that could be "artificially manipulated into an emerging human disease virus.
The contents of this report, in fact, makes it clear that the virus is man-made and released from a laboratory and that the Chinese government has further plans to weaponise the same.
Aggarwala noted that the ICJ had already raised the issue on April 3 2020 with the United Nations Human Rights Council, but there was no tangible result so far in arresting the second wave of the pandemic.
“It is beyond any question that your sincere research into the rise and spread of Covid-19 has led you to get complete answers and understanding of the same, which is complemented with scientific and methodical knowledge,” the letter said.
In light of the above factual situation, “I am sure you are aware that it is your duty to share the knowledge obtained by your organization with the common public so that nothing is left to imagination and the general public are aware of the true facts and circumstances regarding spread of the virus that have plunged the world into the present situation of crisis," Aggarwala said.
The information in this regard which the WHO possesses must be released at once in order to avoid further confusion which is plaguing the efforts of the international fraternity in dealing with the crisis.
"WHO is duty bound to ensure “extension to all people the benefits of medical, psychological and related knowledge as informed opinion and active co-operation on the part of the public are of utmost importance in the improvement of the health of the people” as mandated in the Declaration in the Constitution of WHO which was adopted by the International Health Conference held in New York from June 19 to July 22 1946 and signed on July 22, 1946," Aggarwala said.
This information will not only help the countries to formulate their plan of action and devise the method to fight the pandemic but also help them in eradicating this global menace. Countries can formulate data and information on Covid-19 and for this, WHO owes moral obligation to release the information in its possession.
If WHO does not part with the required information, it will be failing in its duty and the future will not condone this lapse. The release of such information should not be hindered on account of any compromising information pertaining to any nation in particular, he said.
At this juncture, it is also required to be noted that the second wave of Covid-19 spread has wreaked havoc in India even though the Government of India has taken all necessary precautions and acted as per your guidelines, the letter added.
In this regard, it is pertinent to know the exact details as to the origins of the virus from China and whether the Chinese government is deliberately spreading the virus throughout India through unknown means in furtherance of the ongoing political tension between India and China, it said in conclusion.
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