Just as Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong tried to curb panic buying induced by what he claimed to be “rumours” through legislation, this could not help but remind the world of the PRC’s recent expulsion of three Wall Street Journal reporters and the plummet of stock markets worldwide–the much dreaded consequences of the Wuhan pneumonia are proven real.
In this regard, the statement released by WHO that the coronavirus was not a “world health emergency” is refuted by not only the unprepared outbreak in South Korea, but also WHO’s belated announcement of COVID-19 as a global epidemic.
Yet, WHO’s praise of China’s response to the coronavirus remains a ‘novel’ perspective to the international community. After all, were the people in Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore and even Italy, whose behaviours have displayed distrust of the WHO and the Chinese authorities, the uninformed and uneducated ones? Or have Singapore’s prime minister and the Wall Street prodigies missed out something important in the bigger picture? Or shall we turn around and ask: What role does China play in backing, sourcing and disseminating WHO-related information in the post-Margaret-Chan* era?
- Preceding Tedros Adhanom, Margaret Chan, a Hong Kong physician, was Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) delegating the People’s Republic of China for 2006–2017.