UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson has said world powers should clinch a global treaty on pandemics to ensure proper transparency, following the novel Coronavirus outbreak which originated in China.
Speaking at a news conference in London on Monday, Mr. Johnson said that he would be keen to agree a global treaty on pandemics, where countries agreed to share data, amid British and US concern over access given to a World Health Organization (WHO) mission to China.
“I think what the world needs to see is a general agreement on how we track data surrounding zoonotic pandemics and we want a joint agreement on transparency,” the PM said.
“One of the attractive ideas that we have seen in the last few months has been a proposal for a global treaty on pandemics, so that signatory countries make sure that they contribute all the data they have and we are able to get to the bottom of what’s happened and stop it happening again,” he added.
The European Council President, Charles Michel, wrote on Twitter that he welcomed “the support of @BorisJohnson to work together on a pandemic treaty in order to improve global preparedness, resilience and recovery.”
As part of Britain’s presidency of the Group of Seven (G7) rich nations, Mr. Johnson wants to lead efforts on a global approach to pandemics, including an early warning system, but a weekend statement ahead of a call of G7 leaders on Friday did not go into detail about any treaty on transparency.
The COVID-19 outbreak, which was first detected in Wuhan, China, in late 2019, has killed 2.4 million people, tipped the global economy into its worst peacetime slump since the great depression and upended normal life for billions of people.
Within only a matter of months, the UK has overtaken Spain and Italy as the epicenter of the pandemic in Europe with well over 100,000 deaths.
The US remains the world’s worst-hit country with over 330,000 fatalities, followed by India and Brazil.