Union Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan on Friday took charge as the chairman of the WHO's Executive Board amid times when the country is facing the coronavirus crisis. The Executive Board has 34 members who are technically qualified and represent their nations. All of the 34 are designated by their respective governments to the World Health Assembly.
"I am aware I am entering this office at a time of global crisis on account of this pandemic. We all understand that there will be many health challenges in the next two decades. All these challenges demand a shared response," Dr. Harsh Vardhan was quoted as saying by ANI.
He said India is facing the COVID-19 crisis in a proactive and pre-emptive way with an unmatched scale and determination. "Today we have a mortality of 3 percent only. In a country of 1.35 billion, there are only 0.1 million cases of COVID-19. The recovery rate is above 40 percent and the doubling rate is 13 days," the health minister added.
The proposal to appoint India's nominee to the executive board was signed by the 194-nation World Health Assembly.
How WHO describes the Executive Board's job
- The Board meets at least twice a year
- The main meeting is normally in January with a second shorter meeting in May immediately after the Health Assembly
- The main functions of the Executive Board are to give effect to the decisions and policies of the Health Assembly, to advise it and generally to facilitate its work.