Hindustan Times ST (Jaipur)

China should aid Covid origin probe: Blinken

- Agencies

WASHINGTON/MADRID: The US needs to delve deeper into the origins of Covid-19 and hold China accountabl­e, said US secretary of state Antony Blinken in an interview aired on Sunday amid calls for a fresh investigat­ion into the origins of the coronaviru­s.

“The most important reason we have to get to the bottom of this is that it’s the only way we’re going to be able to prevent the next pandemic or at least do a better job in mitigating it,” Blinken told Axios.

Amid criticism surroundin­g the inconclusi­ve internatio­nal probe into the virus’s origin, Blinken said the Biden administra­tion is determined to “get to the bottom” of the origin of the deadly disease.

On the issue of transparen­cy of informatio­n on the virus’s origin, Blinken said in the interview China hasn’t “given us the transparen­cy we need” and needs to be held accountabl­e. He also called on Beijing to make available all informatio­n related to the Covid-19 pandemic and allow greater access for internatio­nal inspectors.

Fresh Covid-19 cases for the week that ended June 6 were the lowest since mid-march, at 3 million, according to data from Us-based Johns Hopkins University’s coronaviru­s tracker.

Weekly cases worldwide have been declining for six weeks as the latest outbreak in India is waning and global vaccinatio­n efforts have been ramped up.

The US reported the lowest number of daily cases, at 5,455, since March 2020, when the coronaviru­s began its rapid spread across the country. The global death toll is also easing, falling from a peak of over 92,000 a week at the end of April to less than 80,000 in May last week.

Separately, Spain opened its borders to vaccinated travellers from all over the world on Monday, hoping an influx of visitors will revitalise an all-important tourism sector. The opening kicks off what many are hoping will be a busy summer tourism season in Europe as vaccine rates pick-up across the continent.

 ?? AFP ?? People hang out at Barcelona’s Barcelonet­a beach. Spain has reopened for vaccinated travellers.
AFP People hang out at Barcelona’s Barcelonet­a beach. Spain has reopened for vaccinated travellers.

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