COVID-19 live updates: Total number of cases passes 165 million

The prime minister of the United Kingdom, Boris Johnson, has announced a plan to set up a Global Pandemic Radar. This system will be designed to track new SARS-CoV-2 variants and other emerging diseases. The World Health Organization (WHO) will help develop this “international pathogen surveillance network.”

According to a U.K. government press release, “The pathogen surveillance network will save lives and protect health systems by spotting diseases before they cause future pandemics and enabling the rapid development of vaccines, treatments, and tests.”

They believe that the Global Pandemic Radar will be operational by the end of 2021. According to Johnson:

“The world must never be caught unawares again by a virus spreading among us unchecked. We need to build a system of disease surveillance fit for the 21st century, with real-time data sharing and rapid genomic sequencing and response.”

Talking about the new system, WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus says: “The U.K. has set a strong example for pathogen surveillance and sequencing, as well as vaccine development. I am delighted that under P.M. Johnson, the U.K. will partner with WHO to contribute to stronger global surveillance and a safer world.”