GENEVA: World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus met with Chinese officials and again asked for specific and real-time data on the epidemiological situation in China, according to the statement released by the WHO website.
In the high-level meeting, WHO asked for more genetic sequencing data, data on disease impact including hospitalisations, intensive care unit (ICU) admissions and deaths -- and data on vaccinations delivered and vaccination status, especially in vulnerable people and those over 60 years old.
WHO reiterated the importance of vaccination and boosters to protect against severe disease and death for people at higher risk. China's National Health Commission and the National Disease Control and Prevention Administration briefed WHO on China's evolving strategy and actions in the areas of epidemiology, monitoring of variants, vaccination, clinical care, communication and R&D.
During the meeting, WHO called on China to strengthen its clinical management and impact assessment, and expressed willingness to provide support in these areas, as well as on risk communications on vaccination to counter hesitancy.
WHO also invited Chinese Scientists to engage more closely in COVID-19 expert networks including clinical management. WHO has invited Chinese scientists to present detailed data on viral sequencing at a meeting of the Technical Advisory Group on SARS-CoV-2 Virus Evolution on January 3, according to the statement.
"WHO stressed the importance of monitoring and the timely publication of data to help China and the global community to formulate accurate risk assessments and to inform effective responses," the statement reads.
Earlier, on Thursday, Ghebreyesus held a press conference and said that the global body remains concerned over the evolving situation in China as COVID-19 infections witness a new spike in the country after curbs were eased.
Tedros said that the WHO will continue to offer its support for clinical care and protect the shattering healthcare system of China. "We remain concerned about the evolving situation and continue encouraging #China to track the #COVID19 virus and vaccinate the highest risk people. We continue to offer our support for clinical care and protecting its health system," Tedros wrote on Twitter.
Regarding the travel restrictions and guidelines issued by several countries for travellers from China, Tedros said that due to the unavailability of an apt amount of information from China about the outbreak, it is understandable that countries around the world are acting in such ways.
"In the absence of comprehensive information from #China, it is understandable that countries around the world are acting in ways that they believe may protect their populations. #COVID19," Tedros tweeted.