Prime Minister Justin Trudeau joined other global leaders to launch the Coronavirus Global Response amid the pandemic.
The response, an online pledging event looking to initially raise more than USD $8 billion, is aiming to help researchers and innovators develop solutions to test, treat, and protect people, and to prevent further spread of the virus.
“COVID-19 is an unprecedented challenge, but it’s not the first time Canadians have been called to do their part,” said Trudeau on Monday.
The prime minister also spoke of the Canadian liberation of the Netherlands, “today, 75 years later, we remember their courage and their sacrifice.”
Trudeau asked Canadians to pause for two minutes at 2 pm ET to honour veterans.
In terms of Canada’s role in the Coronavirus Global Response, to date, the federal government has announced investments of over CAD $850 million that support this fundraising target, according to the Prime Minister’s Office.
“None of us is immune to the effects of COVID-19, and none of us can beat the virus alone. Only by protecting each other can we protect ourselves,” said Trudeau in a statement.
“Canada is ready to help lead a coordinated global response which will contribute to overcoming the pandemic.”
Canada’s investments includes funding to: mobilize Canadian researchers’ and life sciences companies’ coronavirus research and development of medical countermeasures; support accelerated vaccine development, including through the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations and other partners; find a safe and effective treatment for coronavirus through the World Health Organization (WHO) Solidarity Trial; coordinate a coronavirus viral and host genome sequencing effort across Canada; help provide diagnostic support to more than 20 partner countries; and create strategies to tackle misinformation, stigma, and fear.
“The pledging conference this morning was a beginning,” Trudeau said.
He also said that there would be more coming “as the world grapples with this pandemic.”
The Coronavirus Global Response initiative is an international online pledging event co-hosted by Canada, the European Union, France, Germany, Spain, Norway, the United Kingdom, Japan, Saudi Arabia as the current G20 presidency, and Italy as the future G20 presidency.
Trudeau said that Canada is still not out of the woods when it comes to distancing, and is urging Canadians to continue to follow public health regulations.
Last month, the prime minister announced $1.1 billion for coronavirus research and development of a vaccine, as well as treatments. At the time, he said that the national research strategy will include three pillars which include research on vaccines and treatments, support for clinical trials, as well as expanding testing and modelling.
As of May 3, the number of confirmed and probable coronavirus cases in Canada sits at 59,474, an increase of 2,760 from the previous day. Most of those cases are in Quebec (31,865) and Ontario (17,553), though all 10 provinces and three territories have been impacted by the virus.
Canada’s first case was discovered on January 25, and nearly two months later on March 20, the country surpassed 1,000 cases. From there, cases doubled to 2,000 in just three days. They once again doubled to reach 4,000 by March 26. Less than a month later, the case count passed 30,000.