Amid a debate about Coronavirus relaxations in Britain, British Health Minister Matt Hancock is to receive his G7 colleagues for a face-to-face meeting on Thursday.
In the ancient university city of Oxford, about 80 kilometres north-west of London, the ministers want to discuss, among other things, joint protection against future pandemics.
The location has been chosen symbolically, Researchers at Oxford University developed a COVID-19 vaccine together with the pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca.
Britain has been concerned about the spread of the delta variant of the Coronavirus, which was first discovered in India.
However, the number of new infections in Britain has only risen slightly recently and deaths have fallen.
EU Health Commissioner, Stella Kyriakides urged the use of the political momentum to strengthen global health structures. “We have no time to lose,’’ Kyriakides said.
What is needed, she said, are better surveillance and stronger cooperation, especially in sharing data and pathogens, and added that global cooperation has never been more important.
Kyriakides called on G7 countries to share vaccines with poorer countries.
The G7 group includes Britain, which holds the presidency this year, as well as Germany, the United States, France, Italy, Canada and Japan. (dpa/NAN)