Thursday, 17 Jun 2021

UK left exposed to ‘extreme’ biosecurity risks as country not prepared for disease warfare

Biosecurity: Expert warns of 'growing threat to UK'

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A group of scientists at Oxford and Cambridge has warned the Government that the UK is “extremely exposed” and not prepared for biowarfare or the weaponisation of diseases. Speaking to Sky News, Toby Ord from the University of Oxford explained how a report released on Wednesday explained the Government needs to invest “millions to save billions” as the threat of all out biological warfare rises as terror groups and other countries harness the power of disease as a weapon.

Mr Ord said: “We think that the key risks the government should be focusing on now are to do with biosecurity.

“More generally than covid and new pandemics that are naturally arising.

“But also to prepared for bioweapons or lab escapes from dangerous research.

“And to prepare for the dangers that AI propose as it continues to develop.”

“The threat that they pose is increasing as the technology around them increases.”

He explained: “We have had these drastic breakthroughs in biotechnology in recent decades and things that were only achievable by the very top scientists in the world, two years later are being done in science competitions by very bright students.

“So there are more and more actors who have the ability to create dangerous threats if they so choose.

“It is extremely difficult and the main thing we are saying is that it warrants substantially more attention the UK needs to spend millions to save billions, in this case, to take out an insurance policy against these kids for risk.”

More to follow…

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