Washington, April 17 (IANS) G7 leaders have discussed efforts to combat COVID-19 and agreed to take essential measures to ensure a coordinated global response to the ongoing pandemic, while trying to launch a robust recovery, said the White House.

“G7 leaders also discussed efforts to pool their research and talent to combat COVID-19 by sharing all relevant epidemiologic data and emerging best practices, making research data and results publicly available, and providing access to the world’s most powerful supercomputing resources,” Xinhua news agency quoted the White House as saying in a statement on Thursday.

The statement added that the leaders also touched upon the role of the World Health Organization (WHO) during the pandemic.

“Much of the conversation centred on the lack of transparency and chronic mismanagement of the pandemic by the WHO,” it said.

However, the remarks of German Chancellor Angela Merkel during the video conference revealed that no consensus had been reached in this regard among G7 leaders.

In a statement issued by Germany’s federal government, Merkel told attendees that the crisis could only be tackled with a strong and coordinated international response, expressing her full support for the WHO and similar international groups.

US President Donald Trump has faced intense criticism at home and abroad over his decision to withhold the nation’s funding to the WHO in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday called the decision “senseless,” as the WHO is leading the global fight against COVID-19.

As of Friday morning, the number of global COVID-19 cases has increased to 2,159,267 with 145,563 deaths, according to the data by the Johns Hopkins University.

–IANS

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