G7 health ministers issued a joint statement on Monday saying that the “global community is faced, at a first evaluation, with the threat of a new, highly transmissible variant of COVID-19, which requires urgent action.”
The UK had called for the urgent meeting to discuss the Omicron variant.
The joint statement continued with the ministers praising the “exemplary work of South Africa in both detecting the variant and alerting others to it.”
The ministers said there was “strong support” to set up an international pathogen surveillance network within the framework of the World Health Organization
The statement added: “Ministers also recognised the strategic relevance of ensuring access to vaccines, including surge for vaccines absorption and country readiness for receiving and deploying COVID vaccines, providing operational assistance, taking forward our donation commitments, and tackling vaccine misinformation, as well as supporting research and development.”
The G7 health minister committed to meeting again in December./YS