On behalf of the UNESCO–World Academy of Sciences advisory committee on COVID-19, we propose embedding a network of genomic-surveillance centres in the national health systems of every country (see https://osf.io/2dq39). Some 55% of the 11 million SARS-CoV-2 genome sequences on the public GISAID platform come from the United States or United Kingdom, which account for 5% of the global population. By contrast, three continents of the Southern Hemisphere have deposited fewer than 5% of all genomes. The disparity is alarming.

Competing Interests

The authors declare no competing interests.

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