April 17, 2020
WHO advice has helped New Zealand COVID response
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says the World Health Organisation has given New Zealand valuable advice that has helped share this country’s COVID-19 response.
United States President Donald Trump has said he will withhold funding from the organisation, which amounts to about a fifth of its budget, as he tries to shift the blame for his own tardy response to the pandemic.
Ms Ardern says for New Zealand it has been important to have the WHO’s advice, research and international oversight of its response to what is a global issue.
"Some information we as a country just wouldn't have had, some advice we just wouldn't have had really early on and we're really followed that. The only exception was the work we did at the borders, the WHO never recommended border closures, we thought it was something important for us and we're glad we did, but that doesn't diminish in any way the role that they have played," she says.
Prime Minister Ardern says despite criticism from some quarters, the rate of testing of Maori, including that done with extra funding given to Maori health providers, providing a good snapshot of the amount of community transmission that may have happened.
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