Three Years Into Covid-19, Burning Questions That WHO Needs To Answer (Part 3)

Bhaskaran Raman, a professor at IIT Bombay, wants to know whether WHO has analysed why Africa has largely not faced the brunt of Covid-19
Three years into the coronavirus pandemic, it’s high time the WHO answers a few disturbing questions (Credit: Pixabay)

An Empire Diaries Series

March 28, 2023: This month marks three years since the coronavirus disease was declared a pandemic by the WHO (World Health Organisation) on March 11, 2020. Over the course of this turbulent period, a growing number of questions have been raised by medical experts, activists, and critical-thinking people in relation to the Covid-19 narrative.

The questions that critical-thinking people have been asking about the handling of the pandemic cover a wide range of subjects and issues.

Topics include the need for hard lockdowns, the origin of the Covid-19 virus, the media’s role in spreading fear, the vaccine mandates, the mask mandates, other restrictions such as physical distancing, the politicising of decisions at the WHO, the sweeping aside of alternative remedies and thoughts, and much more.


Empire Diaries spoke with a number of subject-matter experts and asked them what some of the important questions are that they would like the WHO to answer to the public at once.

This article is the third of a series of questionnaire sets that we are publishing in public interest. The series started with some thought-provoking questions directed at the WHO by Dr. Amitav Banerjee (Part 1), followed by Susan Raj (Part 2). In this article, Bhaskaran Raman, a professor at IIT Bombay, has put together some intriguing questions for the international health body to answer.

Raman is a critic of various aspects of the global pandemic response, including the role of the mainstream media in shaping the narrative and the interpretation of the data available on how the human population has responded to various measures, such as lockdowns and mask mandates. He has written the contrarian book Math Murder in Media Manufactured Madness.


  1. On March 3, 2020, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the WHO director-general, said, “Globally, about 3.4% of reported Covid-19 cases have died. By comparison, seasonal flu generally kills far fewer than 1% of those infected.” Why was the Case-Fatality-Rate (CFR) of Covid-19 juxtaposed with the Infection Fatality Rate (IFR) of seasonal flu?

2. Numerically, according to the WHO’s definition, what is the threshold level of deaths due to an infectious disease, before it can be declared a pandemic?

3. Is there documentation of the false-positive rate of the RT-PCR test, against a clinical diagnosis protocol, for detection of disease?

4. When exactly was the WHO’s definition of the term “herd immunity” changed to exclude immunity from natural infection, and why?

5. Is asymptomatic spread of SARS-Cov-2 significant? Give numeric comparison with asymptomatic spread of seasonal influenza.

6. Why were the written guidelines for the 2019 influenza pandemic ignored while issuing guidelines for handling the Covid-19 pandemic? Specifically, while “contact-tracing” and “quarantine of exposed individuals” are in the category of “not recommended in any circumstances”, why were these recommended by the WHO for handling Covid-19, which has at worst been a pandemic of “moderate” severity?

7. In March 2020, the WHO’s representative Bruce Aylward praised China’s lockdown to control the spread of the virus. What data from anyone in China other than the Chinese Communist Party does the WHO have to show that lockdown indeed contains the spread of the virus?

8. Is there a document with a cost-benefit analysis of lockdowns and physical distancing (‘social distancing’) authored by the WHO?

9. Although Covid-19 risk has a steep age-gradient, why are the WHO’s Covid-19 guidelines independent of age?

10. In countries such as India, especially in the cities, physical distancing is practically impossible to implement due to a high population density. Why was this not factored in the WHO’s guidelines?

11. In the slums of Mumbai where physical distancing is impossible, the Covid-19 mortality rate is three times lower than in Mumbai’s non-slums. Has WHO analysed this data to question whether physical distancing is a beneficial strategy even for the restricted purpose of Covid-19 management?

12. Africa has largely not faced the brunt of the pandemic. Has WHO analysed the reason behind this?

13. When the virus underwent community transmission throughout the world and even had non-human hosts, why did the WHO not dissuade many countries such as China, Australia, New Zealand, Scotland, etc. from implementing the zero-Covid policy?

14. Is there a threshold level of efficacy of a product for prevention of infection before it can be called a vaccine? What is the numeric threshold?

15. Is there a maximum allowed rate of adverse events for a product, which if crossed, should be pulled off the shelves? What is the numeric threshold?

16. Informed consent is the cornerstone of medical ethics. When vaccine mandates and other coercive methods were violating this all over the world, why did the WHO remain silent about it?

17. There is substantial scientific evidence of the virus circulating in mid-2019. In this context, what is the WHO’s position on when and how the virus originated?

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