Harsh Vardhan Takes Over As WHO Executive Board Chief

Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan on Friday took charge as chairman of the World Health Organisation (WHO) Executive Board.

The Executive Board comprises 34 technically qualified members elected for three-year terms. The chairman’s post is held by rotation for one year among regional groups. The main functions of the Board are to implement the decisions and policies of the Health Assembly and facilitate its work.

On the occasion, he said in a country of 1.35 billion people, there are only 0.1 million cases of COVID-19. “Today we have a mortality of 3 per cent only. In a country of 1.35 billion, there are only 0.1 million cases of COVID19,” said Dr Vardhan in his address after taking charge as the chairman of the World Health Organisation (WHO) Executive Board.

“India faced COVID-19 in a proactive and pre-emptive way, with unmatched scale and determination. The recovery rate is above 40and doubling rate is 13 days,” he added.

“I am aware I am entering this office at a time of global crisis on account of this pandemic. At a time, when we all understand that there will be many health challenges in the next two decades. All these challenges demand a shared response,” he said.

Dr Vardhan took up the new assignment at the 147th session of the WHO Executive Board, being held virtually.

WHO Director-General Tedros Ghebreyesus welcomed him for the new role: “I would like to congratulate and welcome Dr Harsh Vardhan on his election as the new chair. Dr Harsh Vardhan, you have a tough act to follow but I’m sure you will do it with the same energy and commitment as Dr Nakatani.”

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