Since England has suffered the highest death rate in Europe from the coronavirus pandemic, the authorities have decided to merge many functions of the current Public Health England with the government's contact tracing service into a new body that will be known as the National Institute for Health Protection.
"The National Institute for Health Protection will have a single and relentless mission, protecting people from external threats to this country's health; external threats like biological weapons, pandemics, and of course, infectious diseases", said UK Health Minister Matt Hancock.
Baroness Diana Mary Harding, CEO of the telecom group TalkTalk and executive chair of NHS Test and Trace, will be in charge of the new institution.
The statement comes days after The Telegraph reported that the health secretary was expected to announce a decision about replacing PHE with a new organisation.
The PM's comments were interpreted as a swipe at the agency.
Some public health officials, however, have accused ministers of shifting the blame for their own mistakes on the PHE ahead of a public inquiry into the handling of the crisis.