onsdag 29. april 2020

China bristles at call by Australia to investigate Covid-19 origin

The Australian prime minister, Scott Morrison, has defied China and defended the “entirely reasonable and sensible” call for an investigation into the origins of Covid-19, as the international political fallout over the pandemic deepened. China has been pushing back against criticism from other governments about how it handled the outbreak of coronavirus, which is believed to have started in Wuhan and which has now infected 3 million people worldwide and killed 200,000.

Donald Trump’s accusation at the weekend that Beijing could have done more to prevent the deadly spread of the disease was met with fierce criticism from China’s state media. While Australia has eschewed the more strident approach of the US, which has stopped funding to the World Health Organisation (WHO), it has urged its allies to back an overhaul of the WHO and suggested recruiting independent investigators akin to “weapons inspectors” to determine the source of major disease outbreaks.

On Wednesday Morrison said his government “will of course continue to pursue what is a very reasonable and sensible course of action”.