The World Health Organization (WHO) has urged Ukraine to destroy laboratory germs.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has urged Ukraine to destroy laboratory germs.

The WHO urged Ukraine on Friday to destroy any very dangerous viruses in its laboratories in order to reduce the risk of an epidemic as Russian attacks in the nation continue.

According to the World Health Organization, one of its responsibilities is to promote biosafety in laboratories in order to prevent the unintentional or intentional discharge of viruses.

“As part of this work, the WHO has strongly advised the Ukrainian Ministry of Health and other responsible agencies to eliminate high-threat pathogens in order to avoid potential leaks,” the UN health agency stated.

Aware of the potential backlash from the advice, WHO emphasized the broader context of years of engagement with Ukrainian authorities to strengthen laboratory safety after the Russian invasion of Ukraine’s largest civilian nuclear power plant.

“WHO frequently assists member states in improving their public health capacities, notably by facilitating enhanced safety and security of laboratories containing pathogen samples of public health importance,” the organization stated.

“The WHO country office in Ukraine has been working for several years with the Ministry of Health and other partners, including other WHO member states, to improve laboratory biosafety and biosecurity, as well as laboratory personnel capacity, particularly in response to the Covid-19 outbreak.”

The WHO emphasizes risk-based assessment in its general recommendations on laboratory safety, according to spokesman Tarik Jasarevic, who talked to reporters in Geneva via video link from Ukraine.

“Laboratories should always research and assess the circumstances they are in, to ensure that if a problem arises, there is a mechanism to safely remove viruses that are commonly found in all of these countries for public health and safety purposes.” to avoid any mishap,” he explained.

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“It is our responsibility to provide public health advise to all countries in order to reduce the danger of any harm to the population as a result of a possible unintentional release of germs.”

When questioned by AFP, the WHO refused to offer a list of laboratories in Ukraine, as well as identify their degree of biosafety or explain what pathogens they possessed.

Jasarevic was unable to say whether any of the laboratories affected by these recommendations were in an area that was actively bombarded or occupied by Russian troops.

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