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To Process it All

A new "pandemic intelligence hub" launched by Germany and the World Health Organization aims to identify pandemics earlier on as well as keep track of new variants in the current SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, the Guardian reports.

According to CNBC, the hub will be a global collaboration for the surveillance and analysis of epidemic and pandemic data with the aim of predicting, preventing, and preparing for pandemics as well as responding to them. "COVID-19 has highlighted a problem," Oliver Morgan, the director of the WHO's health emergency information and risk assessment group, tells the Guardian. "There is a lot of data and public information out there at the moment that we are struggling to make sense of."

Morgan further tells Science the hub will need between 100 and 120 scientists — epidemiologists, data scientists, and, possibly, social scientists — working there within a year.

The hub will be part of the WHO's Health Emergencies Program and is to receive $100 million in funding from the German government, a WHO press release adds. The hub will initially be based at Charité – Universitätsmedizin in Berlin before moving to a permanent campus in the city.