Coronavirus: When will WHO South-East Asia Region wake up and start tweeting

Coronavirus 2

While WHO West Pacific Region has been very active on Twitter to disseminate the latest information regarding coronavirus cases and deaths in countries falling under its preview, WHO South-East Asia Region has so far maintained radio silence.

Initially, the World Health Organization was found wanting in updating its website even as it was active in disseminating information through Twitter. But even on Twitter, WHO, which has 5.1 million followers, did not care to retweet what the WHO West Pacific Region (@WHOWPRO), under which China falls, was tweeting.

Now, even as WHO West Pacific Region continues to tweet the latest information concerning cases and deaths in China and other countries/regions — Australia, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea, Cambodia, Vietnam, Macau, Hong Kong, and Taiwan — the WHO South-East Asia (@WHOSEARO) has maintained radio silence.

WHO West Pacific Region covers 28 countries and is the largest and most diverse region globally. In comparison, the WHO South-East Region has just 11 countries, including India.

The silence of WHO South-East Asia region becomes all the more pronounced as Thailand, with eight cases, is one of the two countries/regions that has reported the most number of cases outside China. Also, the first case outside China was reported in Thailand. One case each has been reported from Nepal and Sri Lanka too.

Other than retweeting WHO tweets, the only tweet by the South-Asia Region office about countries in the region has been about India setting up hotlines for people to get information about the novel coronavirus. Even here, it does not tweet about the other initiatives of India such as equipping five labs, including the Pune-based National Institute of Virology, to test for the novel virus.

Will WHO South-East Asia region start tweeting only when cases shoot up or when more countries report novel coronavirus cases?