G-7 Commits to New Cooperation to Combat Emerging Health Threats

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The Group of Seven nations have pledged to boost international cooperation in a bid to avert future crises akin to the coronavirus pandemic.

Countries including the U.K., the U.S. and Japan will share information on how to detect emerging threats and their links with animal, plant and environmental factors, according to a statement from Britain’s Department for Health and Social Care ahead of a meeting of G-7 health ministers in Oxford on Thursday.

“We need to make better use of advances in our ability to collect, analyze, and share health data from all aspects of life,” Britain’s Health Secretary Matt Hancock said in the statement. “We have an opportunity to learn from this pandemic to collectively build back better and safeguard our global health security.”

The meeting of ministers comes ahead of the G-7 leaders’ summit starting June 11, where the world’s efforts to prevent health emergencies will also be in focus. U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said he wants to use the G-7 presidency to implement a plan for avoiding future pandemics, which includes creating a global network of research hubs to spot outbreaks before they take hold.

The surveillance plan also intends to spot new variants of coronavirus and monitor vaccine resistance in populations. Growing incidence in the U.K. of the Delta variant, which was first identified in India, has cast some doubt over a scheduled easing of social restrictions June 21.

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