G7 nations agree to beef up early-warning systems for future pandemics – National

The Group of Seven wealthy democracies announced plans Friday to strengthen epidemiological early-warning systems to detect infectious diseases with pandemic potential following the emergence of COVID-19 more than two years ago.

Germany’s health minister, who hosted a two-day meeting of his G7 counterparts in Berlin this week, said an existing World Health Organization office in Berlin would be used to gather and analyze data more quickly.

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Health Minister Karl Lauterbach said the G7 also wants to increase compulsory contributions to WHO by 50 per cent in the long term to ensure the U.N. health agency can fulfill its global leadership role.

Canada’s Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos travelled to Berlin for the meetings, where he highlighted Canada’s continued support for the WHO and discussed addressing gaps related to COVID=19 with his international counterparts.

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“Everyone wants to see an end to COVID-19, yet we also want to be better prepared for all future health outbreaks,” Duclos said in a tweet Thursday.

“Thanks to Germany’s leadership on advancing this issue with our G7 partners, we are able to reinforce our coordination and take a whole-of-society approach.”

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The ministers who met in the German capital also agreed to provide more support for developing new antibiotics that could be used to treat people infected with resistant strains of bacteria, which kill millions of patients each year.

Lauterbach said the G-7 also agreed to better protect the global population from the health impacts of global warming, including by making adaptation to climate change part of medical training.

The G-7 includes Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States.

© 2022 The Associated Press

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