WHO launches ‘CoViNet’

The World Health Organization (WHO) has launched a global network of laboratories to identify and monitor potentially novel coronaviruses that could emerge shortly.

Besides SARS-CoV-2, the new WHO Coronavirus Network, called CoViNet, will assess other coronaviruses, including MERS-CoV, with enhanced laboratory capacity.

The international agency widened its focus by building on its earlier collaboration with the WHO COVID-19 reference laboratory network, which was set up in January 2020 during the pandemic to confirm the disease.

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.