EU pledges €230m to fight COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak

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The European Union has pledged €230 million to help fight the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak, as member state Italy grapples with a rise in cases across the country.

Italian authorities announced four fatalities from the virus in the space of 48 hours, as it cancelled festivities for carnival.

An official from the Lombardy region announced on Sunday afternoon that a third person had died in Italy making it the first European member state to have a national die from COVID-19.

See also: Fourth victim from coronavirus in Italy as the country struggles to contain Europe’s biggest outbreak

At a press conference the EU’s Commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarcic, and the Food Safety Commissioner Stella Kyriakidou announced the €230 million to go towards the “global fight” against the virus.

The money will be spent as follows:

  • €114 million to the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) call for global preparedness
  • €15 million to support partner countries
  • €100 million to research funding, development of vaccines, and treatment
  • €3 million to support member states’ efforts on provision of personal protective equipment and on repatriations of EU citizens
  • The Commissioners insisted there will not be restrictions imposed on travel or trade at this point.

Read more via Euronews