The head of the World Health Organization says he hopes for better cooperation and better access to data from China in researching the origins of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said accessing raw data has been a challenge for the team of international experts who visited China this year to investigate the cause of the outbreak, which was first reported times in Wuhan.
He says the Geneva-based body is asking China “to be transparent, open and to cooperate, especially on the information, the raw data that we requested at the start of the pandemic.”
He also says there has been a “premature push” to dismiss the theory that the coronavirus may have escaped from a Chinese government lab in Wuhan.
âI myself was a lab technician, I am an immunologist and I worked in the lab, and lab accidents happen,â he said.
âIt’s common. Checking out what happened, especially in our laboratories, is important and we need information, direct information on the situation in this laboratory before and at the start of the pandemic. if we get complete information, we can rule out this. “
Tedros says the world owes the millions of people who have died “to know what happened and to prevent the same crisis from happening again. And that is why we need cooperation.”
His remarks were echoed by German Health Minister Jens Spahn, who urged Chinese authorities to allow the investigation into the origins of the virus to continue.
What’s happening across Canada
As of 6 p.m. ET Thursday, Canada had reported 1,422,242 confirmed cases of COVID-19, of which 4,845 were considered active. The COVID-19 death toll in the country stood at 26,471. More than 44.2 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered across the country to date, according to a CBC News tally.
British Columbia Thursday recorded his first COVID-19 death in days. The province also added 54 new cases.
In the Prairies, Alberta recorded 53 additional cases and one additional death; Saskatchewan recorded 30 new cases and no associated deaths; and Manitoba reported 42 new infections and one death.
In Ontario, which on Thursday recorded 143 new cases and 10 additional deaths, Premier Doug Ford strongly rejected the possibility of implementing vaccine passports in the province. Meanwhile, starting tomorrow, the province will move to Stage 3 of its reopening plan, which allows for indoor dining, a return to theaters and increased retail capacity limits.
Quebec, which confirmed 65 new cases and one additional death, announced Thursday that young people between the ages of 12 and 17 can now advance their appointments for a second dose of the vaccine.
In the Atlantic provinces, neither New Scotland, New Brunswick or Newfoundland and Labrador reported new cases on Thursday, but the Newfoundland Ministry of Health confirmed 23 new cases aboard a Portuguese fishing boat currently anchored in Conception Bay. Prince Edward Island, which has no active case, is set to opens its borders on Sunday fully vaccinated Canadians outside of the Atlantic region who have a PEI pass.
In the north, Nunavut reported no new cases on Thursday, while Yukon announced six new infections overnight. In the Northwest Territories, many restrictions are expected to ease next week, including a ban on in-person meals and the need to make gym appointments.
What is happening in the world
As of Thursday, more than 188.4 million cases of COVID-19 had been reported worldwide, according to a case tracking tool managed by the Johns Hopkins University of the United States. The death toll worldwide was over four million.
In Asia, Tokyo on Thursday reported 1,300 new cases, a six-month high, just a week before the start of the Olympics. The Japanese capital is currently under a fourth state of emergency.
In AfricaWHO Africa Region Director Matshidiso Moeti says the continent has recorded one million infections in the past month and hospitals are at breaking point. Health officials in Africa are worried about the slow arrival of vaccines. Just over one percent of the continent’s 1.3 billion people are fully immunized.
In the AmericasCOVID-19 deaths in Argentina have now passed 100,000, a blow to a country that has intermittently imposed some of the world’s toughest lockdowns, only to then see erratic compliance from many. The country was in economic difficulty even before the pandemic and many citizens ignored quarantine regulations in order to be able to earn a living and support their families.
In Europe, a senior official with the European Medicines Agency said a decision on whether to approve the Moderna vaccine for children is expected at the end of next week. It could become the first license of its kind for the use of the shot in children in the world.