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G7 joint statement on the Omicron variant

The joint statement issued by the G7 Health Ministers on the global threat of the new variant of COVID-19 following their meeting.

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. Therefore today G7 Health Ministers held an urgent meeting to discuss developments with regard to concerns related to the Omicron variant.

G7 Ministers reiterated the commitment to taking forward the pledges in the G7 Carbis Bay Leaders Communique and G7 Health Ministers declaration as well as the Global Health Summit and the G20 Rome Declarations.

Ministers praised the exemplary work of South Africa in both detecting the variant and alerting others to it. There was strong support to set up an international pathogen surveillance network within the framework of the World Health Organization (WHO).

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.

They indicated that in the coming weeks, ministers committed to continue to work closely together, with WHO and international partners to share information and monitor Omicron. Ministers committed to meeting again in December.