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We are here again easing up the meanings of the editorial with the meanings of the words provided in English as well as Hindi. We hope you get the sense of these words as used in the editorial. Get to know more such difficult words in our previously-published articles.

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Difficult Words/ PhrasesContextual Meaning
cover up (phrasal verb)hide the truth
Cover-up (noun)an attempt to hide a mistake
opaquenot transparent
clustera group of similar things or people positioned or occurring closely together
reach outto make an effort to do something for other people
revealmake (previously unknown or secret information) known to others
forthcomingplanned for or about to happen in the near future
keep in the darkto keep someone uninformed (about something)
shirkingto avoid work, duties, or responsibilities, especially if they are difficult or unpleasant
reverentialshowing or having a lot of respect

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What about WHO?: on failures of containment of COVID-19

WHO seems to be at the mercy of powerful nations while obtaining relevant information

In a bid to cover up (hide the truth) his own failures in COVID-19 containment and limit the number of deaths in the country, U.S. President Donald Trump has been accusing China of “secrecy, deception and cover-up (an attempt to hide a mistake)” in the outbreak and the World Health Organization of being “China-centric”. Mr. Trump could not have known it, but there is now evidence that WHO had not been fully transparent during the early stages of the outbreak in Wuhan, and China had indeed been more opaque (not transparent) than already known. If WHO gave an impression that on December 31 China had alerted it, the June 29 revised timeline of the world body clarifies the facts to a great degree. WHO’s country office in China had apparently been alerted by a media statement by the Wuhan Municipal Health Commission about cases of viral pneumonia. It got the same news from another independent source too. China confirmed to WHO of the cluster (a group of similar things or people positioned or occurring closely together) of cases of ‘viral pneumonia of unknown cause’ on January 3 only after the global body twice reached out (to make an effort to do something for other people) to the Chinese authorities on January 1-2. Following the confirmation, WHO on January 4 tweeted to say, “China has reported to the WHO a cluster of pneumonia cases, with no deaths, in Wuhan, Hubei Province.…” Also, if the earlier timeline had mentioned that on December 31 a “novel coronavirus was eventually identified” as the cause of pneumonia cases, the revised information posted on the WHO website mentions that the cause of illness was not known till January 2, and China did not confirm novel coronavirus as the cause even on January 3 when it confirmed a cluster of pneumonia cases.

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At least on three occasions, including on January 30 when the health emergency of international concern was declared, WHO had publicly praised China for its commitment to transparency. While it also said China was “setting a new standard for outbreak response” and called the quick sharing of whole genome sequence data of the virus as “very impressive”, independent investigation revealed (make (previously unknown or secret information) known to others) a different situation — China was not very forthcoming (planned for or about to happen in the near future). The world knew of human-to-human transmission in China only on January 20, and the global body was often kept in the dark (to keep someone uninformed (about something)). Scientific evidence strongly suggests that the outbreak began at least by early November. Apparently, WHO had to keep praising China so that it shared information. Surely, powerful nations cannot be allowed to endanger lives around the world by shirking (to avoid work, duties, or responsibilities, especially if they are difficult or unpleasant) responsibility. China has evidently refused to learn lessons from the disastrous handling of the 2002 SARS outbreak. The current pandemic continues to infect millions, killing more than 5,30,000, and destroying livelihoods and the world economy. At least some of the impact could have been lessened by more proactive action on the part of China, and by less reverential (showing or having a lot of respect) attitude on the part of WHO.

Have you got some new words to learn and augment your vocabulary? Do let us know in the comments section below. Improve your word power further by referring to such previously published lists. Also, download the list of word-meaning of The Hindu Editorial Vocabulary Free PDFs of March, April & May 2020 and keep revising these words on a regular basis. Take a Free Mock Test of SBI Clerk Mains.


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