WHO launches global lab network to monitor emerging coronaviruses

The World Health Organization (WHO) introduced on Wednesday a new network, CoViNet, with aims to detect, monitor, and assess SARS-CoV-2, MERS-CoV, and other novel coronaviruses that are of public health concern, Xinhua Agency reported.

CoViNet is an expansion of the COVID-19 reference laboratory network established during the early stages of the pandemic, and it will now include a wider range of coronaviruses, the article informs.

The network consists of 36 laboratories from 21 countries across all six WHO regions, focusing on human, animal, and environmental coronavirus surveillance.

Representatives from these laboratories met in Geneva on Tuesday and Wednesday to finalize an action plan for 2024-2025, with the goal of improving the readiness of WHO member states to detect, assess, and respond to health challenges related to coronaviruses.

Maria Van Kerkhove, acting director of WHO’s Department of Epidemic and Pandemic Preparedness and Prevention, has emphasized that this new global network for coronaviruses will ensure timely detection, monitoring, and assessment of coronaviruses that are significant for public health.

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