New early detection system 'will help protect UK from future pandemics'

The government has announced a new early detection system which they hope will protect the UK from future pandemics.

Deputy Prime Minister Oliver Dowden announced the biothreats radar will help forewarn about the risks of diseases and bioweapons.

It’s hoped this will prevent events such as the coronavirus pandemic from being repeated.

The announcement is part of a £1.5 billion investment into the government’s new biological security strategy.

Mr Dowden said: ‘Covid was the biggest peacetime challenge in a century and we must be diligent in preparing for future threats on this scale.

‘This plan and our £1.5 billion investment per year puts us in a strong position to defeat the biological threats of tomorrow – from diseases to bioweapons and antimicrobial resistance.

‘It’s a strong and ambitious approach: one that harnesses the sheer ingenuity of the UK’s researchers and scientists and deploys our world-class crisis management capabilities to protect the people of the UK.’

The biothreats radar will combine data from across governments and trusted independent sources to give politicians a better picture of biological threats or developing crises.

It aims to use the lessons from the Covid pandemic to understand, detect, prevent or respond to biological threats.

It also builds upon a commitment made by G7 leaders in Cornwall in 2021, aimed at accelerating new vaccine development.

The government’s chief scientific adviser Professor Dame Angela McLean said: ‘The Covid-19 pandemic showed just how critical it is to have a coherent plan to both protect the UK from the increasingly complex range of biological risks and build on the UK’s strengths in vaccine research and development and life sciences.

‘The new biological security strategy will make an important contribution to our preparedness.’

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