WHO launches CoViNet: a global network for monitoring coronaviruses

Published On: March 28, 2024 05:45 PM NPT By: Agencies

GENEVA, March 28: The World Health Organization (WHO) launched on Wednesday a new network for coronaviruses, CoViNet, for early and accurate detection, monitoring and assessment of SARS-CoV-2, MERS-CoV and novel coronaviruses of public health importance.

CoViNet builds on the global health agency's COVID-19 reference laboratory network that was established during the early days of the pandemic. Initially focusing on SARS-CoV-2, the virus of the COVID-19 pandemic, the network will address a broader range of coronaviruses, including MERS-CoV and potential new coronaviruses.

CoViNet is a network of global laboratories with expertise in human, animal and environmental coronavirus surveillance, currently comprising 36 laboratories from 21 countries in all six WHO regions, the agency said in a statement.

Representatives from the laboratories convened in Geneva on Tuesday and Wednesday to finalize an action plan for 2024-2025, aiming to enhance the preparedness of WHO member states in early detection, risk assessment, and response to health challenges associated with coronaviruses.

"This new global network for coronaviruses will ensure timely detection, monitoring and assessment of coronaviruses of public health importance," said Maria Van Kerkhove, acting director of WHO's Department of Epidemic and Pandemic Preparedness and Prevention. 

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