World will 'inevitably' be hit by another deadly virus – but this time Britain will be ready, says top boff

THE WORLD will "inevitably" be hit by another deadly virus following the coronavirus pandemic, a top biochemist has said.

Kate Bingham warned a new outbreak could be linked to deforestation and animals moving from their natural environments.

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But the expert said that if another virus hit the world, Britain would be ready to tackle it this time.

Ms Bingham, 55, told The Times: “With deforestation you are chopping down environments where these animals are living and they end up co-locating in environments they haven’t before and they spread it to humans.”

The biochemist said she is “hugely optimistic” about the future because after the Covid-19 pandemic it will be easier to combat another outbreak.

'HUGELY OPTIMISTIC'

She said: “We are not just better set up to be nimble next time with a pandemic, but this is a huge industrial legacy.”

Before the coronavirus pandemic hit the world, a report had warned that all countries would struggle with a major outbreak of an infectious disease.

The Global Health Security (GHS) index was compiled by scientists at the Johns Hopkins University Center for Health Security, and the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI).

Richard Hatchett, CEO of the CEPI, warned: “We can be sure that another epidemic is on the horizon.

“It is not a case of if, but when.”

The GHS warned “a threat anywhere is a threat everywhere”.

Leo Abruzzese, senior global advisor at The Economist Intelligence Unit, who helped compile the report, said the report helped to identify important gaps in global preparedness.

“Without a way of identifying gaps in the system, we're much more vulnerable than we need to be,” he said.

“The index is specific enough to provide a roadmap for how countries can respond, and gives donors and funders a tool for directing their resources.”

Scientists previously warned that an outbreak of an unknown infectious disease – Disease X – could wipe out 80 million and cause a deadly pandemic.

Following the Covid-19 outbreak, a World Health Organisation expert warned the virus fit the so-called Disease X category.

Marion Koopmans, head of viroscience at Erasmus University Medical Center in Rotterdam, and a member of the WHO’s emergency committee, said: “Whether it will be contained or not, this outbreak is rapidly becoming the first true pandemic challenge that fits the disease X category.”

Since the beginning of the outbreak, Covid-19 has infected almost 72million people and has killed 1,604,359 worldwide.

In the UK, the total number of confirmed cases since the start of the pandemic is 1,809,455.

According to the latest data, 63,506 people have died within 28 days of a positive test.

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