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Helga de Alvear. Photo: Wikipedia.
Helga de Alvear. Photo: Wikipedia.

Helga de Alvear Gives $1.1 Million to Aid Spain’s Search for Covid-19 Vaccine

Madrid gallerist and collector Helga de Alvear is donating $1.1 million to support the race to find a vaccine for the novel coronavirus that causes Covid-19. The Spanish daily newspaper ABC reports that the gift will fund the research of virologist Luis Enjuanes, who is working with Isabel Sola and Sonia Zúñiga at the National Center for Biotechnology—which forms part of the Spanish National Research Council in Madrid—to search for antivirals and antibodies that can help fight the virus and to identify genes of the virus that could be genetically altered.

Rosa Menéndez, the Spanish National Research Council’s president, thanked de Alvear for the donation, as well as for her support of their research and for her trust in public institutions. Menéndez said that the contribution will allow the biotechnology center to secure improved equipment for the laboratories where the virus is handled. De Alvear told ABC that she believes the work being carried out by the facility is crucial to resolving the global health crisis and maintaining the well-being of Spain’s citizens.

According to El País, Friday is the second consecutive day that Spain has had fewer than three hundred deaths—at the time of publication, the virus’s death toll in the country was 24,824. Health officials also reported that a total of 114,678 people who tested positive for the virus have recovered. As a result, Spain’s strict lockdown measures will be relaxed, and the temporary hospital set up at the IFEMA convention center at the height of the outbreak will close. After announcing a de-escalation plan that will be rolled out in four phases, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said he hopes the country will return to a “new normality” by June.