What is CoViNet?

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Recently, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has launched a new network for coronaviruses, CoViNet.

About CoViNet

  • It is a network of global laboratories with expertise in human, animal and environmental coronavirus surveillance.
  • It will identify and monitor potentially novel coronaviruses that could emerge shortly.
  • The network will now have animal health and environmental surveillance and timely risk assessment to feed WHO policies and protective measures.
  • In low- and middle-income countries, CoViNet will support the building of more laboratories to monitor MERS-CoV and novel coronaviruses of public health importance.
  • Data generated through CoViNet's efforts will guide the work of WHO's Technical Advisory Groups on Viral Evolution (TAG-VE) and Vaccine Composition (TAG-CO-VAC) and others, ensuring global health policies and tools are based on the latest scientific information.
  • It currently comprises 36 laboratories from 21 countries in all six WHO regions.
  • Three Indian laboratories namely; the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research-National Environmental Engineering Research Institute, the Indian Council of Medical Research-National Institute of Virology in Pune, and the Translational Health Science and Technology Institute are part of this network.

Key facts about World Health Organisation

  • It was established in 1948, is a specialized agency of the United Nations that connects nations, partners and people to promote health, keep the world safe and serve the vulnerable – so everyone, everywhere can attain the highest level of health. 
  • The governance structure of the WHO is designed to support the implementation of its mandate and the achievement of its objectives. It includes:
    • Membership: It currently has 194 member states.
    • World Health Assembly (WHA): The highest decision-making body of WHO and comprises representatives from all member States. 
    • Secretariat: Responsible for carrying out the policies and programs approved by the WHA.
    • Director-General: Director-General heads the WHA and is supported by a senior management team. 
    • Regional Offices: WHO also has six regional offices: Africa, the Americas, Southeast Asia, Europe, Eastern Mediterranean, and Western Pacific. 

Q1) What is MERS?

It is a viral respiratory disease caused by the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS‐CoV) that was first identified in Saudi Arabia in 2012.Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that can cause diseases ranging from the common cold to Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Coronavirus disease-2019.

Source: WHO launches ‘CoViNet’ — a global laboratory to monitor emerging coronaviruses