Europe

Not again: Boris warns another pandemic ‘realistic possibility’ as global population soars

Coronavirus: Expert warns of 'inevitable third wave' in autumn

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The Prime Minister spoke in the House of Commons in the Government’s integrated review of the UK’s defence that he would increase the nation’s nuclear capabilities and capabilities in challenging the outbreak of infectious diseases He said that soaring population growth and the loss of natural habitat will increase the interaction between humans and wild animals, which will see humanity in close proximity to new pathogens. He spoke of the real risk of a disease spreading from animal to human.

In his foreword for the Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy, Mr Johnson said that when the review was begun, “we could not have anticipated how a coronavirus would trigger perhaps the greatest international crisis since the Second World War”.

He added that the disease has led to “tragic consequences that will persist for years to come”.

He then stated: “COVID-19 has reminded us that security threats and tests of national resilience can take many forms.”

The Integrated Review document said: “Infectious disease outbreaks are likely to be more frequent to 2030.

“Many will be zoonoses, diseases caused by viruses, bacteria or parasites that spread from animals to humans.

“This could occur as population growth drives the intensification of agriculture and as the loss of habitats increases interaction between humans and animals.

“Another novel pandemic remains a realistic possibility.”

The Government’s report has outlined a national and international plan to deal with a global pandemic.

The report added: “The Government will continue to prepare for and respond to individual risks, whether terrorism, flooding, or a new pandemic.

“Learning the lessons of COVID-19, we will also seek to build a better understanding of the UK’s strengths and weaknesses.

“It will improve our national preparedness and readiness across the whole risk lifecycle, from anticipation to recovery.”

Mr Johnson also added that the UK’s commitment to NATO and the EU was “unconditional and immovable”.

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He said the strategy outlined in the review would make the UK “match-fit for a more competitive world”.

He told the House of Commons: “Our international policy is a vital instrument for fulfilling this government’s vision of uniting and levelling up across our country, reinforcing the Union, and securing Britain’s place as a science superpower and a hub of innovation and research”.

He added that it will “bolster our alliances and strengthen our capabilities”.

He also vowed that the UK would embark on a new attitude in its relations with China.

He said that Britain must “relearn the art of competing against states with opposing values”.

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