As it’s gone on, you see the WHO becoming less important. No one is thinking about reducing the global numbers, only their own. The WHO is a global force, but people aren’t thinking globally - Clare Wenham


image by: Fernando Bizerra Jr/EPA

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WHO's pandemic response: From criticism to Nobel?

Here is an overview of the main criticisms and plaudits the United Nations health agency has faced since the Covid-19 outbreak first surfaced in China in December 2019.

Acted too slowly

From the very start, the WHO faced criticism that it was mishandling the crisis. Some accused it of taking too long to recognise that the virus was easily transmitting between humans. But most of the criticism has focused on its initial reluctance to declare a global health emergency, and in particular to utter the word "pandemic". The WHO learned on December 31, 2019 of a mysterious pneumonia outbreak in Wuhan and has repeatedly insisted it immediately jumped into action.


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Last Updated : Monday, August 2, 2021