The World Health Organization (WHO) has introduced Coronavirus Network (CoViNet) which aims at enhancing global surveillance and response capabilities against coronaviruses.

GS-02 (Health)


  • The emergence of novel coronaviruses, such as SARS-CoV-2 and MERS-CoV, has underscored the critical need for enhanced global surveillance and response capabilities to prevent and mitigate future outbreaks.


  • CoViNet represents a proactive initiative by the WHO to address these challenges and strengthen collaboration among member states in monitoring, detecting, and responding to coronavirus-related health threats.
  • By facilitating early detection, risk assessment, and response coordination, CoViNet aims to mitigate the impact of coronaviruses on public health and prevent future pandemics.

About CoViNet:

  • CoViNet, or the Coronavirus Network, serves as a platform facilitates and coordinates global expertise and capacities for the early detection, monitoring, and assessment of various coronaviruses.
  • While its primary focus remains on SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19 virus), CoViNet extends its scope to include other coronaviruses, such as the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV).
  • This broader approach aims to enhance laboratory capacity and surveillance efforts, ensuring a comprehensive understanding of coronaviruses beyond the current pandemic.
  • MERS-CoV, characterized as a zoonotic virus, poses a significant public health concern as it can be transmitted between animals and humans.
    • Instances of MERS-CoV infections have been identified and linked to dromedary camels in multiple Member States across the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia.

Key Features of CoViNet:

  • There are three laboratories from India, namely the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research-National Environmental Engineering Research Institute, the Indian Council of Medical Research-National Institute of Virology in Pune, and the Translational Health Science and Technology Institute.
    • However, it comprises 36 laboratories from 21 countries spanning all six WHO regions.
  • It underscores a holistic One Health approach encompassing human, animal, and environmental health.
  • The network’s objective is to equip WHO Member States with enhanced capabilities for early detection, risk assessment, and response to coronavirus-related health challenges.


The establishment of CoViNet marks a significant step forward in global health preparedness. Building upon the foundation laid by the WHO Covid-19 reference laboratory network, which was initially established in January 2020 during the early stages of the pandemic, CoViNet aims to strengthen collaboration and coordination among stakeholders worldwide in combating coronaviruses and mitigating their impact on public health.