World Health Organization says $45 billion is needed to fight COVID-19

The number of confirmed coronavirus infections per day has surged to a new high of 40,000 in the United States while India also registered a new record.

An employee of a private company sanitises against the spread of coronavirus in Brazil.

An employee of a private company sanitises against the spread of coronavirus in Brazil. Source: Getty

A World Health Organization-led coalition fighting the COVID-19 pandemic is asking government and private sector donors to help raise $45.6 billion (US$31.3 billion) in the next 12 months to develop and deliver tests, treatments and vaccines for the disease.

Renewing its call on Friday for global collaboration against the pandemic, it said $4.9 billion ($US3.4 billion) had been contributed for the coalition to date, leaving a funding gap of $40.7 billion (US$27.9 billion).

Of that, $19.9 billion ($US13.7 billion) was "urgently needed".

COVID-19 testing in Jakarta.
Source: Getty

The WHO is working with a large coalition of drug-development, funding and distribution organisations under what it calls the ACT-Accelerator Hub.

The initiative is intended to develop and deliver 500 million COVID-19 tests and 245 million courses of new treatment for the disease to low- and middle-income countries by mid-2021, it said in a statement.

It also hoping 2 billion vaccine doses, including 1 billion to be bought by low- and middle-income countries, will be available by the end of 2021.

It comes as the number of confirmed coronavirus infections per day in the United States surged to an all-time high of 40,000 on Friday.

Two US states reversed course and clamped down on drinking again on Friday, with Texas Governor Greg Abbott ordering all bars closed and Florida authorities banning alcohol at all such establishments.

Elsewhere around the world, Chinese officials moved closer to containing a fresh outbreak in Beijing.

Another record daily increase in India pushed the caseload in the world's second most populous country toward half a million.

And other countries with big populations like Indonesia, Pakistan and Mexico grappled with large numbers of infections and strained health care systems.

South Africa, which accounts for about half of the infections on the African continent with more than 118,000, reported a record of nearly 6600 new cases after loosening what had been one of the world's strictest lockdowns earlier this month.

Spanish virologists at the University of Barcelona said on Friday they had found traces of the coronavirus in a sample of Barcelona waste water collected in March 2019, nine months before the COVID-19 disease was identified in China.

The discovery of virus genome presence so early in Spain, if confirmed, would imply the disease may have appeared much earlier than the scientific community thought.

The University of Barcelona team, who had been testing waste water since mid-April this year to identify potential new outbreaks, decided to also run tests on older samples.

They found the presence of the virus genome in one sample collected on 12 March, 2019.

"The levels of SARS-CoV-2 were low but were positive," research leader Albert Bosch was quoted as saying by the university regarding the study that has been submitted for a peer review.

More than 9.66 million people have been reported to be infected by the coronavirus globally and 489,398 have died, according to a Reuters tally.

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Published 27 June 2020 at 9:42am, updated 27 June 2020 at 12:49pm