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EU mobilizes €25 billion against coronavirus

11 March 2020 09:00

BRUSSELS. KAZINFORM The EU decided on mobilizing €25 billion ($28,2 billion) to counter the spread of the new coronavirus, the European Commission’s President Ursula von der Leyen announced on Tuesday.

All the 27 European heads of states and governments joined a video conference with von der Leyen and the European Council’s President Charles Michel on Tuesday afternoon, Anadolu Agency reports.

The European leaders decided on focusing on four priorities, Michel told a joint press conference with von der Leyen after the leaders' virtual meeting.

The EU is committed to limit the spread of the virus, ensure the provision of medical equipment, prompt research on the epidemic and tackle socio-economic consequences, Michel said.

«The virus [known as COVID-19] has significant human dimension and major economic impact», von der Leyen said.

To counter the spread of the COVID-19 and the economic fallout, €7,5 billion will be immediately mobilized, she added.

In total, the EU is planning on €25 billion coronavirus budget.

The European Commission will also authorize members states to subsidize private companies fighting the virus and the European budgetary disciplinary rules will also be revised, von der Leyen reassured.

The institution’s top officials and experts will also have a daily phone conference with the members states' health or interior ministers to get an update on the situation and give guidelines on further actions.

The global death toll from the coronavirus is now over 4,000, with nearly 114,000 confirmed cases.

The virus originated in China but has reached over 100 countries, with the WHO saying on Monday that the «threat of a pandemic has become very real».

As part of efforts to contain the outbreak, some governments closed borders and suspended land and air travel with the worst-hit countries.