India on Tuesday demanded an inquiry to establish why the World Health Organisation (WHO) pressed the panic button over the outbreak of swine flu, which many believe has benefited pharmaceutical companies.
"We definitely demand an inquiry into the whole issue. WHO is not god," Union Minister of State for Health Dinesh Trivedi told reporters on the sidelines of a function in New Delhi.
"The inquiry will tell us why there was an alarm sounded by the WHO. Even the western media is questioning the WHO on this. We are definitely demanding an inquiry," Trivedi said.
Earlier in the day, Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said his ministry had always advocated people not to panic.
“And you know why we have said not to panic six months back,” Azad said at the Editor's Conference on social sector issues here.
So far, India has reported over 1,100 deaths due to the contagious virus and over 28,000 people have been infected with the disease till now.