China could have acted more quickly in dealing with Covid-19, the WHO's pandemic response probe declared on Monday. The WHO chief appointed Johnson Sirleaf and Clark - who both have previous ties to the United Nations agency - to lead the team.
"The world is more reliant on an effective WHO than ever before", said former Liberian president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who co-chairs the panel with former New Zealand prime minister Helen Clark. China has encouraged food producers to maintain records to aid traceability in the event of food safety incidents.More from South China Morning Post: * Coronavirus: China reports 96 new infections, links superspreader to 102 asymptomatic cases * China's rural Covid-19 clusters challenge country's strategy to stop disease spreading * Coronavirus: what's life like for the 20 million Chinese back in lockdown?This article Coronavirus in Chinese ice cream raises new alarm over infection via food first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app.
World Health Organization issued about 900 recommendations on COVID through November, the report said, which might have been too many.
It has also faced criticism for not pressing China harder to provide accurate information on the initial cases and for allowing more than a year to pass before an global team of experts could enter China to help search for the origins of the virus.
The experts also said the WHO's ability to confirm reports of outbreaks and deploy personnel and resources to areas with outbreaks was "gravely limited", as member states lack incentives to cooperate within the organization.
WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told the WHO Executive Board at the start of a debate on the report that it was "committed to accountability" and change.
Ms Clark also pointed to the agency's low level of funding and the dangers of relying so heavily on volatile voluntary contributions, a precariousness highlighted by the United States' sudden withdrawal from the organisation a year ago.
Such contributions can suddenly disappear, as seen past year when the United States, traditionally the WHO's biggest donor, halted its backing.
Describing the funding of the WHO as "woeful", Clark told the briefing: "The WHO is not empowered for the task. The results? Deadly consequences", said Hoffman, a professor of global health, law, and political science. "The member states are going to have to face up to this", she said.
"Pathogens can travel in minutes and hours, not in days and weeks", Clark said.
"We must rise to this occasion even as we combat the pandemic and resurrect our economies", said Garrett Grigsby, head of the USA delegation.
The panel's report said on Monday that Chinese officials should have applied public health measures more forcefully in January to curb the initial COVID-19 outbreak, and criticised the WHO for not declaring an worldwide emergency until Jan. 30.
The WHO has previously praised China for sharing the virus's genome sequence in record time, and warning other countries of the highly infectious new disease by January 3.
The panel said it was clear that "public health measures could have been applied more forcefully by local and national health authorities in China in January".