US resists plans to shore up WHO
News Desk || shiningbd
The US, the World Health Organization’s top donor, is resisting proposals to make the agency more independent, four officials involved in the talks said, raising doubts about the Biden administration’s long-term support for the UN agency.
The proposal, made by the WHO’s working group on sustainable financing, would increase each member state’s standing annual contribution, according to a WHO document dated January 4.
But the US government is opposing the reform because it has concerns about the WHO’s ability to confront future threats, including from China, US officials told Reuters. It is pushing instead for the creation of a separate fund, directly controlled by donors, that would finance prevention and control of health emergencies.
France’s constitutional council on Friday approved - with conditions - the country’s new Covid-19 vaccine pass, which will require people aged 16 and above to show proof of vaccination to enter public places like bars, restaurants and cinemas.
Tokyo recorded its fourth record number of daily Covid-19 infections on Saturday, breaking above 10,000, while Japan’s exceeded 50,000 for the first time as the Omicron variant continues to spread rapidly.
Omicron is now the dominant Covid-19 variant circulating in the European Union and European Economic Area, the bloc’s health agency said on Friday.
UK probing sub-lineage of Omicron variant
The UK Health Security Agency on Friday designated a sub-lineage of Omicron as a variant under investigation, saying it could have a growth advantage.
BA.2, which does not have the specific mutation seen with Omicron that can help to easily distinguish it from Delta, is being probed but is not yet a variant of concern.