BBC News  |  January 26, 2021

International law stipulates that new infectious disease outbreaks of global concern be reported to the World Health Organization within 24 hours. But on 1 January the WHO still had not had official notification of the outbreak. The previous day, officials there had spotted the ProMed post and reports online, so they contacted China’s National Health Commission.

“It was reportable,” says Professor Lawrence Gostin, Director of the WHO Collaborating Center on national and global health law at Georgetown University in Washington DC, and a member of the International Health Regulations roster of experts. “The failure to report clearly was a violation of the International Health Regulations.

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