WHO chief to review its pandemic handling, vows transparency

GENEVA (Reuters) - The head of the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Monday that he would initiate an independent evaluation of its handling of the coronavirus pandemic at the “earliest appropriate moment” and vowed transparency and accountability.

“We all have lessons to learn from the pandemic. Every country and every organisation must examine its response and learn from its experience. WHO is committed to transparency, accountability and continuous improvement,” WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told its annual ministerial assembly.

Tedros thanked early high-level speakers for their “strong support for WHO at this critical time” and said that the review must encompass responsibility of “all actors in good faith”.

“The risk remains high and we have a long road to travel,” Tedros said. Preliminary serological tests in some countries showed that at most 20% of populations had contracted the disease and “in most places less than 10 per cent”, he said.

Reporting by Emma Farge and Stephanie Nebehay