Federal government committing $1 billion to help Canadians cope with COVID-19

Money committed to added medical supplies, vaccine research

Ottawa is committing one billion dollars to help Canadians in the face of COVID-19.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced a fund which includes over $200 million towards medical supplies and supports for Indigenous communities. It also includes $275 million earmarked for research and vaccine development. Around half the money committed will go towards aid on the provincial level.

Trudeau added the one-week waiting period for employment insurance will be waived, a measure taken to help employees and businesses affected by the virus.

Related: Air Canada suspending all flights to Italy over fears of COVID-19

During his announcement, the Prime Minister stressed Canadians need to do their part in curbing the spread of COVID-19, including washing hands and avoiding handshakes for now. He added the federal government is not closing its borders to other countries, but any decisions made will be done so with recommendations from experts and scientific data. Trudeau also said there is no plan to restrict travel within the country.

Related: B.C. health officials confirm first Canadian fatality due to COVID-19

As of Wednesday morning, there have been more than 90 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Canada. One person has died.