Coronavirus live news: WHO chief says lab leak theory worth examining further; Quito hospitals overwhelmed

Posted by on March 31, 2021 1:39 am
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Categories: Global Stories

US releases statement with 13 allies saying WHO inquiry lacks data; hospitals in Ecuador capital working above capacity to treat Covid patients, say doctors

6.39am BST

Vladimir Putin, Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron discussed Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine and its use in Europe on a conference call on Tuesday, the Kremlin said.

Moscow’s statement said that among other subjects the Russian, German and French leaders discussed prospects for the registration of the vaccine in the EU and the possibility of shipments and joint production in EU nations. It did not say who raised the topic.

Related: Merkel, Macron and Putin in talks about using Sputnik V jab in Europe

6.21am BST

The US and the UK have sharply criticised a World Health Organization report into the beginnings of the coronavirus pandemic in Wuhan, implicitly accusing China of “withholding access to complete, original data and samples”.

The statement, also signed by 12 other countries including Australia and Canada, came hard on the heels of an admission on Tuesday by the head of the WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, that the investigation was “not extensive enough” and experts had struggled to access raw information during their four-week visit to Wuhan in January.

Related: UK and US criticise WHO’s Covid report and accuse China of withholding data

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