Global COVID-19 fundraising meeting raises $6.9 bln, leaders want vaccine for all

A researcher works on the diagnosis of suspected coronavirus COVID-19 cases in Belo Horizonte, state of Minas Gerais, Brazil. (File/AFP)
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Updated 27 June 2020

Global COVID-19 fundraising meeting raises $6.9 bln, leaders want vaccine for all

  • The pledging summit also included a televised and streamed fundraising concert featuring Miley Cyrus, Justin Bieber and Shakira
  • The money will be used for COVID-19 tests, treatments and vaccines

BRUSSELS: A global fundraising meeting on Saturday raised 6.15 billion euros ($6.9 billion) from the United States, the European Commission and numerous countries to fight COVID-19, with many participants stressing that an eventual vaccine should be available to anyone who needs it.
The pledging summit, part of a joint initiative by the EU executive and advocacy group Global Citizen, also included a globally televised and streamed fundraising concert featuring Miley Cyrus, Justin Bieber, Shakira, Chloe X Halle, Usher and others.
The Commission together with the European Investment Bank pledged 4.9 billion euros ($5.50 billion), the United States $545 million, Germany 383 million euros, Canada C$300 million ($219 million)and Qatar $10 million. Forty governments took part in the summit.
The money will be used for COVID-19 tests, treatments and vaccines, and also to support the world’s poorest and most marginalized communities.
Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said it was crucial that everyone who needed it should have access to a vaccine.
“I am trying to convince high-income countries to reserve vaccines not only for themselves but also for low- and middle income countries. This is a stress test for solidarity,” she said.
British Premier Boris Johnson concurred.
“If and when an effective vaccine is found, then we as world leaders have moral duty to ensure that it is truly available to all,” he said.
French President Emmanuel Macron was adamant about pooling efforts together.
“Let’s refuse an every man for himself approach, let’s continue to move forward together,” he said.
Italy, one of the hardest hit by the pandemic, echoed his sentiment.
The EU is championing global cooperation in efforts to control and end the pandemic, in contrast to the United States and China’s focus on national initiatives.


Hong Kong records 107 new COVID-19 cases in latest spike

Updated 18 January 2021

Hong Kong records 107 new COVID-19 cases in latest spike

  • The Chinese special administrative region last recorded a triple digit figure on Dec. 19 with 109 cases

HONG KONG: Hong Kong reported 107 new coronavirus cases on Monday, the highest toll in nearly a month as authorities tested thousands of residents after an outbreak in an old residential building located in a busy commercial and residential area last week.
The Chinese special administrative region last recorded a triple digit figure on Dec. 19 with 109 cases. At its peak in July 2020 the city logged 149 new infections.
Dozens of infections were found last week in a densely packed apartment building in Yau Tsim Mong, a teeming district in the city’s Kowloon area.
Authorities thereafter ordered mandatory testing on hundreds of people living in the area and neighboring streets.
Hong Kong has recorded nearly 10,000 coronavirus cases and 162 deaths since the start of 2020.
Businesses are reeling from ongoing COVID-19 restrictions which have banned gatherings of more than two people and closed sport facilities, beauty salons and all restaurants for dining after 18:00 local time.