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India's health min Harsh Vardhan to be WHO's Executive Board chairman

It is not a full-time assignment and the minister will just be required to chair the Executive Board's meetings

👤 Srimathi Sridharan20 May 2020 1:31 PM GMT
Indias health min Harsh Vardhan to be WHOs Executive Board chairman
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New Delhi: Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, who is leading India's battle against COVID-19, will take charge as the chairman of the WHO Executive Board on May 22.

Vardhan would succeed Dr Hiroki Nakatani of Japan, currently the Chairman of the 34-member WHO Executive Board.

The proposal to appoint India's nominee to the executive board was signed by the 194-nation World Health Assembly on Tuesday, officials said on condition of anonymity.

His taking over the post seems to be a formality after the decision that he will be India's nominee as the WHO's South-East Asia group had unanimously decided last year that India would be elected to the executive board for a three-year-term beginning May.

Vardhan would be elected at the Executive Board meeting of the World Health Organisation on May 22, the officials said.

The chairman''s post is held by rotation for one year among regional groups and it was decided last year that India''s nominee would be the Executive Board chairman for the first year starting Friday.

It is not a full-time assignment and the minister will just be required to chair the Executive Board's meetings, an official said.

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, according to PTI.

Addressing the 73rd World Health Assembly via video conferencing on Monday, Vardhan had said India took all the necessary steps well in time to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

He had asserted that the country has done well in dealing with the disease and is confident of doing better in the months to come.

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