French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa were among those who joined a video conference to launch what the WHO billed as a “landmark collaboration” to fight the pandemic.

The aim is to speed development of safe and effective drugs, tests and vaccines to prevent, diagnose and treat COVID-19, the lung disease caused be the novel coronavirus – and ensure equal access to treatments for rich and poor…

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said that the objective at a global pledging effort on May 4 would be to raise 7.5 billion euros ($8.10 billion) to ramp up work on prevention, diagnostics and treatment.