LISBON, May 4 (Xinhua) -- Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa announced on Monday that his country will actively participate in the European Union (EU) initiative of the "Coronavirus Global Response" with a donation of 10 million euros.
At the donors' conference held at the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation in Lisbon, the prime minister said that Portugal will donate 10 million euros (10.9 million U.S. dollars), with 1.55 million euros from the government and 8.45 million euros from private companies and institutions, to the EU program to accelerate the development of vaccines and treatments for COVID-19.
With the initiative, the European Commission intends to raise 7.5 billion euros to "accelerate the development, production and equitable access to vaccines, diagnostics and therapeutics" of COVID-19, media has reported.
Costa said that apart from the donation, Portuguese companies, as well as the scientific sector, have been actively working to develop therapies.
"Our business sector, in particular industry, is also actively participating in all dimensions. Regarding new forms of diagnosis, both the scientists and businesses have been particularly active in the development of materials for diagnosis and new diagnostic methodologies," he said.
"Now we can announce that there is a great front for the development of new testing mechanisms at a more advanced stage, to measure the immunity of our population," he said, adding that they are also developing molecules to be used in the treatment phase and even in vaccination.
"This is a joint effort, which is very important and will add to the financial contribution that Portugal will make today to the 'Global Response' effort to the pandemic," he stressed.
He highlighted the European effort in this direction and defended a greater coordinated global effort in combating the novel coronavirus.
"Portugal can be the 'bridge' between the continents, we share our articulation with entities on a global scale. Together we can overcome this challenge," he added.
Meanwhile, Portuguese Minister of Foreign Affairs Augusto Santos Silva said coordination efforts between EU members in the fight against COVID-19 have been working "very well from the beginning."
Portugal resumes on Monday its economic activity that was suspended by government order during the state of emergency against the coronavirus. (1 euro = 1.09 U.S. dollars) Enditem