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Angela Merkel calls on global effort to fight coronavirus

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has called on global effort to fight the novel coronavirus. This comes after Germany reported the fewest COVID-19 cases since the 31st of March.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the 7.5 billion euros (S$11.7 billion) of funds targeted by the bloc to develop and manufacture a coronavirus vaccine “are just the start” as more money will be needed over time, according to an interview with German broadcaster Deutsche Welle.

The World Health Organisation and the leaders of France and Germany on Thursday launched a drive to accelerate development of a vaccine, stressing it should be available to everyone, without favour shown to the country that develops it.

Angela Merkel promised her country will make a “distinct” financial contribution to the effort, adding she didn’t want to disclose the amount yet. A total of 8 billion euros are needed to make vaccination, medication and adequate diagnostics available for “all people on earth,” she said in her weekly podcast. Germany is co-hosting Monday’s donor conference.

“Common action is a must,” said Dr Merkel. “Only joint, international, multilateral action will allow us to overcome the pandemic.”

Merkel has called for global cooperation in developing a vaccine against the novel coronavirus.

“This epidemic is a pandemic and a worldwide spreading disease that we cannot fight nationally but only together,” said Merkel in her weekly podcast speech on Saturday, referring to the video conference of G20 members in late March when the group decided to fight the pandemic together.

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“Everyone can get the virus, and that’s why we have the task of acting together worldwide. It is not just an opportunity for joint action, but I would say it is a must,” said Merkel, adding that it should make sure that vaccine benefits everyone.

“Germany will also make a significant financial contribution. I would like not to announce that today, but I can say that we will then also be very active in observing further development,” added Merkel.

The German Chancellor said the country wanted to work closely with the WHO, which has a key role in this issue.

Merkel also stressed that with only joint efforts and international multilateral actions can countries overcome the pandemic.

Germany currently has 165,664 coronavirus cases, with 6,866 deaths.

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