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Editorial: Work in synergy!

The COVID-19 continues to sweep through the world unabated as the number of coronavirus-related deaths around the world has reached a staggering 324,000, with more than five million individuals being infected with the disease. So far the US has been the worst-hit country in the world where 1.55 million individuals have contracted the virus while over 93,000 have lost their lives as of Wednesday morning. In Afghanistan, the cases are hovering around 8,000 now despite the implementation of lockdown measures. The blame for the threatening increase in cases here diverts to the lack of proper management and the feeble Afghan health system. But on the global level, instead of working cooperatively, the world superpowers are engaged in acrimony. China, where the virus first surfaced, has been accused – seemingly because the country managed and controlled it rather well – of not telling the truth and warning the world of the virus’s grave threat. Meanwhile, after being hardly hit by the virus, the US has also alleged that the World Health Organization (WHO) is ‘China-centric’ and thus the country will suspend funding to the agency. In a recent development, US President Donald Trump threatened to permanently cut off funding to the WHO through a 30-day ultimatum, requiring the organization to commit to substantial changes in how it operates. However, it wasn’t long before Chinese President Xi Jingping pledged an additional $2 billion to battle the novel coronavirus over the next two years in response to the US doubling down on its criticism of WHO. These steps could be taken as counter-steps but China pledge to further help WHO is coming at a time when the world is facing a grave threat from the coronavirus pandemic. The most critical reason held against China – and WHO for that matter – is that they failed to provide the world with timely information, a lame pretext tactic used by the US to deflect the blame directed towards it for its initial negligence to handle the virus seriously. So now the US president vents his rage out on China and WHO to hide its failures. However, in today’s modern world, it’s unreasonable to hold someone else responsible for being unable to provide information because it’s every country’s obligation to keep abreast of any developments, especially when it concerns a novel and deadly virus that threatens the world for the first time. Therefore, these countries, especially the US, are well-advised to work in collaboration to find a solution or vaccine to the virus and prevent the loss of millions of people. Otherwise, with locking horns over blame games, they are sidetracked from the real issue that needs attention. They should rather work in synergy to avert a human catastrophe, as well as save their citizens.

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