Coronavirus: Ontario announces funding for 15 research projects aimed at COVID-19

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WATCH ABOVE (April 2020): Ontario Premier Doug Ford has announced $20 million in research funding open to universities and scientists across the province to be used to help fight the novel coronavirus, including vaccine research. This comes at a time when Ontario has surpassed 10,000 COVID-19 cases. Morganne Campbell has more. – Apr 18, 2020

The Ontario government announced funding for a number of research projects in the province aimed at fighting COVID-19.

Premier Doug Ford made the announcement at a daily press briefing at Queen’s Park on Thursday alongside Health Minister Christine Elliott and Minister of Colleges and Universities Ross Romano.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: Premier Ford vows to increase COVID-19 testing numbers

The projects are a part of $20 million the government has put towards the Ontario COVID-19 Rapid Research Fund, which focuses on research into “vaccine development, diagnostics, drug trials and development, and social sciences.”

According to a press release, Ontario is also leading the country with 22 clinical trials currently operating, including eleven that have already gotten approval from Health Canada to “advance potential vaccines and therapeutics.”

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“Ontario is leading the nation in the battle to defeat this deadly virus. We have some of the most incredible researchers and innovators anywhere in the world right here in our province,” said Ford.

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“There’s no reason why a new rapid testing method, vaccine or treatment can’t be found right here in Ontario.”

Ford said the government is funding 15 proposals that were submitted, including from McMaster University among other universities and colleges in the province.

READ MORE: Ontario recommends using face coverings if physical distancing a challenge

“Researchers in Ontario represent some of the best and brightest in the country and we are tapping into their expertise to find Ontario-based solutions to treat the infection and stop the spread of the virus,” said Minister Romano.

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“Our government is encouraged by the ideas and solutions researchers have put forward to-date.”

As of Thursday afternoon, Ontario reported 24,187 coronavirus cases and 1,993 total deaths.

Tuesday marked the beginning of Stage 1 in the province’s reopening plan, which included the opening of a number of outdoor amenities and storefront retail stores.

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