Singapore contributed US$13m towards global fight against COVID-19: PM Lee

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong during his speech at the virtual Global Vaccine Summit. (PHOTO: Ministry of Communications and Information)

SINGAPORE — Singapore has contributed US$13 million (S$18 million) towards international efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the virtual Global Vaccine Summit on Thursday (4 June).

The summit, which was co-hosted by the British government and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, has raised almost £7 billion (S$12 billion) in pledged funds to immunise 300 million children against infectious diseases like polio, diphtheria and measles within five years.

It was also an opportunity for countries to come together to coordinate efforts to develop and produce a COVID-19 vaccine, said PM Lee.

“We have contributed about US$13 million towards international efforts to combat COVID-19, through the WHO (World Health Organisation), the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), and donations of essential medical equipment and supplies,” he said during his speech.

“We are investing heavily in research and development on diagnostics, vaccines and therapeutics. Our researchers have developed a range of serological and nucleic acid-based diagnostic tests, which have been deployed to over 20 countries.

“They are also developing therapeutic monoclonal antibodies, as well as a vaccine, and have started clinical trials of various therapeutics.”

Building up vaccine manufacturing capacity

During his speech, PM Lee said that Singapore is also building up its vaccine manufacturing capacity.

“We intend to offer fill-and-finish contract manufacturing services to vaccine developers. This should help them ramp up production faster, and assure them high standards of safety and quality in the manufacturing process,” he said.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has also asked leaders to renew their “collective resolve” to find a COVID-19 vaccine.

He said that Britain has already committed “up to £764 million for the global coronavirus response, and I’m proud to say that some of the most promising research into vaccines is happening right here in the UK, supported by our vaccines taskforce”.

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