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WHO's CoViNet: Tracking Coronaviruses Worldwide

The World Health Organization (WHO) has launched a new initiative called CoViNet, which seeks to boost global efforts in coronavirus detection, monitoring, and assessment.

CoViNet expands upon the existing COVID-19 reference laboratory network established in the early stages of the pandemic. While primarily focused on SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, CoViNet will now examine other major coronaviruses such as MERS-CoV and possibly novel variations.

CoViNet, which consists of 36 laboratories from 21 countries covering all six WHO regions, aims to develop global early detection and response approaches. Representatives from these laboratories recently met in Geneva to create an action plan for 2024-2025, highlighting the necessity of being ready for coronavirus-related health issues.

The meeting demonstrated a collaborative approach including human, animal, and environmental health specialists, which reflected the One Health philosophy. By combining surveillance, laboratory capacity building, sequencing, and data analysis, CoViNet aims to inform WHO policies and improve evidence-based decision-making.

Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, acting Director of WHO’s Department of Epidemic and Pandemic Preparedness and Prevention, thanked global partners for their dedication to understanding and detecting high-threat coronaviruses. She highlighted the critical role of CoViNet in ensuring timely detection and assessment of coronaviruses with public health significance.

Data generated through CoViNet’s efforts will guide the work of WHO’s Technical Advisory Groups, ensuring that global health policies and tools remain informed by the latest scientific insights.

Source: Inputs from various media Sources

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Priya Bairagi

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