Source: Brussels – Associated Press
World leaders have pledged billions of euros to research the development of an emerging Coronavirus vaccine, but they caution that it is only the beginning of efforts that must be sustained over time to cope with the disease.
At a video technology summit on Monday, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that the 7.5 billion euro ($ 8.2 billion) target sought to help find a vaccine, new treatments and better disease tests would be just a “down payment”. To fund the tools needed to fight the virus.
“To reach everyone everywhere, we probably need five times that amount,” Guterres added.
Two hours after the summit hosted by the European Union, more than 5.4 billion euros were pledged, according to European Commission statistics.
World governments have reported about 3.5 million people infected and more than 247,000 deaths from the virus, according to Johns Hopkins University. But intentionally hiding information, low test rates, and stress on healthcare systems mean the true scale of the pandemic is much greater.
Citizens in many countries of the world, especially Europe, are returning to work with caution this week, but the authorities are still wary of a second wave of infection, and access to the vaccine is the only solution that will allow the resumption of something like normal life.
“The truth is that we will have to learn to live with the virus even if we do not develop a vaccine,” said Ursula von der Leyen, the European Commission’s president. And announced a pledge of one billion euros from the executive arm of the European Union.
“There is a need for more. So today is only the beginning of the International Undertaking Marathon.”
For his part, French President Emmanuel Macron warned of a “race against time”, donating 500 million euros on behalf of France.
Away from many European leaders, the leaders of the countries and governments of Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, Jordan, South Africa and Turkey, as well as the Chinese Ambassador to the European Union, are also waiting. The United States was absent, as more than 67,000 people died due to Corona, as well as Russia, from the meeting.
The Donors’ Conference to develop a vaccine against Corona, held via video technology, aims to raise around 4 billion euros ($ 4.37 billion) for vaccine research, about 2 billion euros for treatments, and 1.5 billion euros ($ 1.64 billion) for tests.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson declared that “the race to discover a vaccine to overcome this virus is not a competition between countries