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Taiwan says WHO ignored December warning on COVID-19 human-to-human transmission

Health officials in Taipei said they alerted the WHO at the end of December about the risk of human-to-human transmission of the new virus but said its concerns were not passed on to other countries, which indicates that the infection is highly contagious, and slowed the global response to the pandemic.

According to Financial Times, Taiwan vice-president Chen Chien-jen said its doctors had heard from mainland colleagues about medical staff getting ill, which is a sign of human-to-human transmission, and Taipei officials reported this on December 31 to both China and International Health Regulations (IHR).

The alert was ignored. China’s health ministry confirmed human-to-human transmission of Covid-19 on January 20.

As late as January 14, just two weeks before WHO declared Covid-19 a global health emergency, the global health agency tweeted that “preliminary investigations conducted by the Chinese authorities have found no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) identified in #Wuhan, #China.”, since then, the novel coronavirus has been named Covid-19.

According to government data seen by the Hong Kong-based South China, the first case of someone in China suffering from Covid-19, the disease caused by the Sars-Cov2, can be traced back to November 17.

Chinese authorities have identified at least 266 people who were infected last year, all of whom came under medical surveillance at some point, it said.

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