G7 leaders stress need for vaccine to deal with coronavirus

Leaders of the G7 group of major industrialised nations have agreed the rapid development of a coronavirus vaccine is crucial in dealing with the outbreak.

Foreign Secretary and First Secretary of State Dominic Raab deputised for Prime Minister Boris Johnson at the virtual summit, which also discussed the particular risk coronavirus poses for developing countries.

A Downing Street spokesperson said: “They agreed that the rapid development and production of coronavirus treatments and a vaccine will be crucial to stop the spread of the virus around the world.

“The First Secretary of State stressed the need for the response to be internationally coordinated.

“Leaders discussed the particular risk coronavirus poses to developing nations and agreed on the need to fight coronavirus in every country.

“They committed to continue to support developing countries through bilateral assistance, multinational organisations and by ensuring governments around the world have access to the medical supplies they need.”

Experts have suggested that a vaccine for coronavirus could be 12 to 18 months away.

Downing Street added: “G7 leaders also agreed on the importance of financial measures to defend the global economy against the impact of coronavirus.”

With Mr Johnson recovering from the impact of coronavirus, the Downing Street spokesperson said: “All leaders expressed their best wishes for the Prime Minister’s recovery and welcomed the cooperation that has already taken place between G7 countries.”

The G7 is made up of the US, Japan, Germany, Britain, France, Italy and Canada.