UK Government launches plans for Global Pandemic Radar to detect COVID-19 variants, emerging diseases


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The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Boris Johnson announced on May 21, 2021, that the UK will be working with the World Health Organisation, other partners, and nations for developing an advanced international pathogen surveillance network for identifying COVID-19 variants and emerging diseases.

An official statement released by the Foreign Office quoted UK PM as saying that the world must never be caught unaware again by a virus spreading among us unchecked.

The UK Prime Minister added that a disease surveillance system must be built which is fit for the 21st century, with real-time data sharing and rapid-genome sequencing and response.

Significance:

The British Prime Minister claimed that the network called ‘Global Pandemic Radar’ will ensure the early detection of the new variants and the emerging pathogens so that the early treatments and vaccines that will be needed to stop them can be rapidly developed by the scientific communities.

How the UK Government will help in pathogen surveillance system?

As per the official statement by the UK Foreign Office, the UK government, as part of its rotatory presidency of Group of Seven, has been working with the World Health Organisation, NGOs, the government centres of disease control, and research organisations to take forward a report it had commissioned from the Wellcome Trust.

The trust is a London-based charitable foundation focusing on health research, which sets out the mechanism for a global pathogen surveillance system that can identify new variants of Coronavirus and can also detect other diseases before they become pandemics.

WHO supports robust, modern system:

The Director-General of the World Health Organisation Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus states that the Coronavirus pandemic underscores the significant need for a robust, modern system for keeping the world ahead of the emerging diseases. It can be done through active monitoring at the community level, data sharing across the globe, and swift and accurate sequencing of the new pathogens.



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