Australia says all WHO members should participate in COVID-19 inquiry

Australia says all WHO members should participate in COVID-19 inquiry

Australian Prime Minister Morrison speaks during a joint press conference at Admiralty House in Syd
FILE PHOTO: Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison speaks during a joint press conference held with New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern at Admiralty House in Sydney, Australia, February 28, 2020. REUTERS/Loren Elliott

SYDNEY: All members of the World Health Organization (WHO) should cooperate with a proposed independent review into the spread of coronavirus, Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Thursday (Apr 23). 

Morrison on Wednesday spoke with several world leaders including US President Donald Trump to canvass support for a review into the origins and spread of coronavirus, which emerged in China late last year.

READ: Australia calls on G20 nations to end wet wildlife markets over COVID-19 concerns

READ: Bondi Beach to reopen for surfing as Australia's COVID-19 cases slow

Escalating his calls, Morrison said all members of the WHO should be obliged to participate in a review.

"If you're going to a member of a club like the World Health Organization, there should be responsibilities and obligations attached to that," Morrison told reporters in Canberra.

"We'd like the world to be safer when it comes to viruses ... I would hope that any other nation, be it China or anyone else, would share that objective."

CONCERNS OVER WET WILDLIFE MARKETS

Morrison's comments come as Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud on Thursday called on G20 nations to end wet wildlife markets over concerns they pose a threat to human health and agricultural markets. 

The pandemic is thought to have started in a wet market in the Chinese city of Wuhan. 

READ: Wet markets in China's Wuhan struggle to survive COVID-19 blow

"There are risks with wildlife wet markets and they could be as big a risk to our agricultural industries as they can be to public health," said Littleproud, who did not mention China by name. 

Wet markets are a key facet of China’s daily life, though not all sell wildlife.

China imposed a temporary ban on selling wildlife on Jan 23 and is now reviewing its legislation to restrict commercial wild animal trading on a permanent basis.

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Source: Reuters

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