Over 60 countries to support coronavirus outbreak investigation

Source : 112 Ukraine

62 countries ready to support EU and Australia inquiry ahead of World Health Assembly in Geneva
22:07, 17 May 2020

The level of coronavirus incidence continues increasing

A coalition of 62 countries supported a joint Australian and European Union push for an independent inquiry into the coronavirus outbreak ahead of a crucial World Health Assembly meeting in Geneva. This is reported by ABC.

European nations and Australia have been rallying support for a draft EU motion which calls for an "impartial, independent and comprehensive evaluation" of "the WHO-coordinated international health response to COVID-19."

Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Turkey, Russia, South Africa, and the United Kingdom are among those nations that had backed the motion.

The inquiry does not specifically mention China or the city of Wuhan where the outbreak is believed to have begun.

Sources said the language was strong enough to ensure that a proper and thorough investigation took place, although they are still calling this a "first step" towards ensuring transparency.

At this stage, neither China nor the US has backed the motion. EU and Australian diplomats were still working on Sunday to convince both major powers to give their support.

Related: Coronavirus in Ukraine dashboard: online

The EU's spokeswoman for foreign affairs, Virginie Battu-Henriksson, said the organization was focused on reaching a consensus for an inquiry.

"Of course, we need to have the support of all the major players, and China is one of them," she told the ABC.

Meanwhile, US diplomats have been pressing for tougher language that specifically calls for a probe into how the virus started in the Chinese city of Wuhan.

US President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have both furiously denounced China's initial response to the virus, accusing it of covering up the initial outbreak and allowing it to spread around the world.

But Battu-Henriksson said the EU was focused on "really getting together and finding a solution which is workable for all."

"For us, it is not the moment for us to enter any kind of blame game as we've seen in narratives from one part or another of the world," she said.

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