Sydney: The Australian government will allocate 2 million Australian dollars ($1.3 million) to develop a vaccine against the deadly new strain of coronavirus, dubbed COVID-19, that has already killed over 1,800 people in China, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Tuesday.
“The Morrison Government is fast-tracking $2 million in funding to support Australia’s best researchers as they work to understand and respond to the outbreak of novel coronavirus, now known as COVID-19. Our government’s priority is to keep Australians safe and this $2 million investment will help develop a coronavirus vaccine,” Morrison said in a statement.
The Australian authorities have so far confirmed 15 coronavirus cases across the country. These cases do not include over 20 more among the Australian passengers stranded aboard the virus-hit Diamond Princess cruise liner, which has been anchored and under quarantine near Yokohama port since February 3.
COVID-19 was first detected in Wuhan, located in the Hubei Province, in late December and has since spread to more than 20 other countries. The death toll from the virus in mainland China has exceeded 1,800 people, and the number of confirmed cases has topped 72,400. Over 12,500 patients have been discharged from hospitals. (ANI)