Department of Health and Social Care
World leaders to take part in crisis simulation of AMR pandemic
G20 leaders will come together to simulate a fictional drug-resistant E. Coli pandemic, as part of an international effort to tackle antimicrobial resistance (AMR).
The governments of the UK and Argentina will lead on the exercise to test G20 world leaders on how they would tackle the spread of an infection that is resistant to antibiotics.
The crisis simulation will put ministers in a fictional scenario where an E. Coli outbreak that is resistant to antibiotics spreads across borders, putting public health, livestock, trade and travel at risk. The exercise takes place today (Thursday 4 October) at the G20 Health Ministerial Meeting in Mar del Plata Argentina.
The simulation will test leaders’ and countries’ ability to act quickly if antibiotic resistant bugs cross borders and lead to a pandemic affecting global public health, placing pressure on health systems and the economies of the fictional countries involved. It will be led by Chief Medical Officer for England Professor Dame Sally Davies and Argentine journalist Dr Nelson Castro.
The exercise will raise awareness and understanding of the key challenges of AMR, and encourage G20 ministers to ensure countries are doing everything they can in the global fight against superbugs.
The aim is to help governments across the world confront difficult issues around reducing antibiotic resistant bugs, including how to reduce the overuse of antimicrobial drugs, while making sure patients who need them have access to them.
Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a natural phenomenon where microbes evolve to be able to resist the actions of drugs, making them ineffective.
The process is being accelerated by humans through the inappropriate use and misuse of antibiotics in humans and animals. The biggest threat posed by the spread of AMR is losing modern medicine and an increase in deaths worldwide. It is therefore vital governments work together to minimise the impact of AMR around the world.
A 2016 independent antimicrobial resistance review led by Lord O’Neillpredicted that without urgent international action, AMR will cause the deaths of at least 10 million people a year by 2050.
Chief Medical Officer for England Professor Dame Sally Davies said:
Antimicrobial resistance is an escalating global threat that demands action from all countries – world leaders must co-ordinate efforts to address this ‘one health’ challenge.
I am delighted to be co-facilitating this exercise with Dr Nelson Castro today, which will strengthen understanding of the risk of drug-resistant infections and allow world leaders to consider their response to this threat.
Steve Brine, Public Health Minister said:
The UK is at the forefront of global action on AMR and while some progress has been made both at home and internationally, we cannot afford to lose ground. Superbugs do not recognise borders and our response must not be constrained by them either.
Tackling antibiotic resistance is a priority – we are committed to working with our neighbours overseas, including those at the G20 today, to coordinate a united response. We strongly support the Argentineans in bringing this crucial issue to the table under their G20 presidency, along with important discussions on malnutrition, strengthening health systems and crisis response.
Latest News from
Department of Health and Social Care
UK government secures groundbreaking COVID-19 antivirals21/10/2021 12:10:00
The new antivirals could be rolled out through a clinical study from winter.
Lateral flow tests to be introduced for vaccinated international arrivals15/10/2021 11:10:00
From 24 October fully vaccinated passengers and most under 18s arriving in England from countries not on the red list can take a cheaper lateral flow test, on or before Day 2 of their arrival into the UK. These can be booked from 22 October.
Plan set out to improve access for NHS patients and support GPs14/10/2021 14:25:00
New blueprint will improve access and provide additional funding to increase the proportion of face to face appointments.
UK completes over one million SARS-CoV-2 whole genome sequences12/10/2021 10:10:10
The UK has now uploaded over one million genome sequences to the international GISAID database, accounting for nearly a quarter of all sequences published globally to date.
Blood donation to be made more inclusive11/10/2021 16:10:10
A question on sexual activity of partners in areas where HIV is widespread will be removed from the donor safety check form.
New film launched urging public to get flu and COVID-19 vaccines11/10/2021 10:10:10
New campaign encourages those eligible to get free flu vaccine and COVID-19 booster vaccine ahead of winter.
Clinical trialists to be offered 'top-up' vaccine doses08/10/2021 15:38:00
Vaccine clinical trial participants to be offered additional approved vaccines for international travel from next week.
Travel Update: 47 countries and territories removed from red list08/10/2021 13:12:00
From 11 October, the red list will reduce to 7 countries and proof of vaccination will be recognised from 37 new countries and territories.