Coronavirus (COVID-19)—Prime Minister announces plan for Global Pandemic Radar

Coronavirus (COVID-19)—Prime Minister announces plan for Global Pandemic Radar

The Prime Minister has announced the plans for a new ‘Global Pandemic Radar’, which aims to identify and track new coronavirus (COVID-19) variants and emerging diseases around the world. The announcement has come ahead of the Global Health Summit hosted by Italy and the EU. It is expected that the ‘pathogen surveillance network’ will allow health systems to be protected and lives saved early on in the development of the virus, helping to prevent future pandemics of the current scale. World Health Organization (WHO) will lead the work with the UK, Wellcome Trust, as well as other partners and nations to develop the surveillance network and it is expected that the network will be up and running before the end of 2021. On 20 May 2021, the Prime Minister also spoke to WHO and Wellcome Trust to agree the next steps ahead of G7.

Commenting on the announcement, Director General of WHO, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said: ‘The UK has set a strong example for pathogen surveillance and sequencing, as well as vaccine development. I am delighted that under PM Johnson, the UK will partner with WHO to contribute to stronger global surveillance and a safer world.’

Further, the Director of the Wellcome Trust, Dr Jeremy Farrar has published new analysis, commissioned by the UK government, which outlines the mechanisms for a global pathogen surveillance system that can identify new variants of coronavirus and detect other diseases before they become pandemics.

Dr Farrar commented on the Prime Minister’s announcement, saying that ‘This pandemic has provided a stark wake-up call to the threat posed by a fast-moving infectious disease. We are long overdue the essential reinforcement of our local, national and international disease surveillance networks.’

Source: PM announces plan for ‘Global Pandemic Radar’

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