Leaders of the G7 countries meeting in Cornwall in England will sign a declaration today agreeing to use all their resources to prevent future pandemics like Covid-19.

Among a series of concrete measures they will back a global virus early warning system, a centre to develop animal vaccines to reduce virus transmission to humans, and a 100-day pandemic response manual for developing and licensing new vaccines.

Britain's chief scientific officer Patrick Vallance and philanthropist Melinda Gates will brief the G7 on the pandemic preparedness group, a team of international experts assembled by the British G7 presidency to advise on spotting and dealing with new virus threats.

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Their report 'The 100 Days Mission to Respond to Future Pandemic Threats', details how governments and others can rapidly respond to new outbreaks, including the steps needed to develop and license new vaccines and treatments within 100 days - a timeframe thought to be crucial to changing the course of an epidemic.

Britain will also unveil details of a zoonotic disease research centre in Surrey to develop vaccines for animals, especially farm animals, to reduce the danger of animal to human virus transmission which is thought to be the main source of new human diseases.

The group of leading economies - Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States - will also try to showcase Western democratic cohesion against a resurgent China and recalcitrant Russia.

They will be joined by the leaders of Australia, South Africa and South Korea, along with India taking part remotely, as the agenda broadens to foreign policy issues and climate change.

The G7 is meeting face-to-face for the first time since 2019 at a beachside venue in Cornwall, southwest England, after the coronavirus led to the cancellation of last year's summit.

Additional reporting AFP