The Global Pandemic Radar will identify and track new COVID variants and emerging diseases
As the COVID-19 pandemic enters into its second year, cases around the world continue to spike despite a global effort to ramp up vaccination. While many countries continue to make a consorted effort to track infections and map the location of origin of new variants, the UK is stepping up its efforts to ensure the transparency of data flows freely among the global scientific community.
Today, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announces plans for a new ‘Global Pandemic Radar’ to identify and track new COVID-19 variants and emerging diseases. The UK and the WHO will take the lead on project Radar, but welcomes the global scientific communities participation in the fight against the pandemic.
“Tackling COVID-19 globally and ensuring we are better prepared for future health threats is an absolute priority for the UK’s G7 presidency.
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.
A Global Pandemic Radar will ensure that we are vigilant to new variants and emerging pathogens, and can rapidly develop the vaccines and treatments needed to stop them in their tracks.”
“Today’s announcement sets out the mechanisms for a global pathogen surveillance system that can identify new variants of COVID-19 and detect other diseases before they become pandemics.” Said Dr Jeremy Farrar, Chair of the Wellcome Trust
A similar system was put in place by the United States where American scientists were working closely with China’s top pandemic response team until the Trump administration pulled the plug. This decision by the Trump administration proved to be catastrophic and eliminated the preventative measures in place to warn of an imminent viral threat.