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EU leaders have pledged to raise billions of euros to go towards the global fight against coronavirus.

Saying they are supporting the World Health Organizations call for joint action, the leaders announced the launch of an Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator, a “global cooperation platform to accelerate and scale-up research, development, access and equitable distribution of the vaccine and other life-saving therapeutics and diagnostics treatments.”

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On Monday 4 May they plan to raise an initial 7.5 billion euros in an online pledging conference – funds that are only the start of what is needed to take on COVID-19, they said.

In a statement, the leaders wrote: “If we can develop a vaccine that is produced by the world, for the whole world, this will be an unique global public good of the 21st century. Together with our partners, we commit to making it available, accessible and affordable to all.”

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They said that each euro or dollar will be channelled through global health organisations such as CEPI, Gavi, the Vaccines Alliance, and the Global Fund and Unitaid.

Signatories were: Charles Michel, President of the European Council; Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission; Giuseppe Conte, Prime Minister of Italy; Emmanuel Macron, President of France; Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany; Erna Solberg, Prime Minister of Norway.

Meanwhile the EUs common reserve of medical equipment, established in April to combat coronavirus, has sent out hundreds of thousands of masks to Spain, Italy and Croatia this weekend.

”We have worked around the clock to build up the rescEU reserve of medical equipment. We have already created a stock of masks. Spain, Italy and Croatia will be the first to receive equipment, but more deliveries will follow. I thank Romania and Germany for being the first Member States to host the rescEU equipment,” said Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarčič.

The WHO confirmed more than 80,000 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, bringing the global figure to 3.26 million.

The daily numbers shows no sign of a global slowdown, although in the worlds most affected region, Europe, there does appear to be a slowdown. Since April 1, the number of new cases recognized by the WHO every day has remained between 70,000 and 90,000 new cases per day.

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