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Between rules and resistance: moving public health emergency responses beyond fear, racism and greed
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  • Published on:
    We do not need more International Health Regulations - It is the WHO that needs to reform
    • Jacob Puliyel, Pediatrician International Institute of Health Management Research, Delhi, India.
    • Other Contributors:
      • Susanth George Thomas, Resident

    We read with interest the suggestions of Jackson and colleagues (1) in the context of the revision of the International Health Regulation and the WHO’s proposed pandemic treaty. By narrowly framing the acrimony around the COVID-19 pandemic responses, as a dispute between resource-poor countries (LMICs) on the one hand and industrially developed countries on the other, the authors seem to be missing the woods for the trees.

    The lockdowns, vaccine mandates and restrictions on the freedom of movement of the unvaccinated, were violations of the Nuremberg Code (2) and an assault on the freedoms enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (3). People from both rich and poor nations were adversely affected.

    The prescriptions were irrational as they were unreasonable. Children were kept out of schools although the majority were not at risk of harm from contracting COVID-19 and they had the potential to safely increase herd immunity if only the vulnerable were isolated. Vaccine passports, which allowed vaccinated persons travel privileges, were perpetuated even after it was known that the vaccine would not stop the person-to-person spread of the disease.

    The public protested these encroachments on their freedoms and rights in many industrialised countries, in both democratically elected countries like Canada (4) France (5) Australia (6) New Zealand (7) and also in China with its draconian laws (8). In the end, even China was forced to bow down to...

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    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.