Boris Johnson will urge countries to “pull together” and share their expertise as he co-hosts an international conference to drive the race for coronavirus treatments, tests and vaccines.
The Prime Minister will describe the challenge facing humanity as the “most urgent shared endeavour of our lifetimes”.
He will add: “We are in this together and together we will prevail.”
Monday’s online pledging conference – co-hosted by the UK and eight other countries and organisations – aims to bring in more than £6.6 billion in funding to support the global response to the pandemic.
The UK has pledged to give £388 million in aid funding for research into tests, treatments and vaccines – part of a £744 million commitment to help end the pandemic and support the global economy.
Mr Johnson is expected to say: “To win this battle, we must work together to build an impregnable shield around all our people and that can only be achieved by developing and mass producing a vaccine.
“The more we pull together and share our expertise, the faster our scientists will succeed.
“The race to discover the vaccine to defeat this virus is not a competition between countries but the most urgent shared endeavour of our lifetimes.
“It’s humanity against the virus – we are in this together and together we will prevail.”
It comes after a Cabinet minister warned some restrictions may last until there is a vaccine – meaning Brits face living under coronavirus rules until 2021.
Michael Gove said he suspected people would have “some degree of constraint” on their lives until a vaccine is found for Covid-19.
While vaccine trials are already under way in the UK, experts have said they only expect full-scale production of a successful jab after six months to a year.
The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster last night said Brits will have to adjust to a “new normal” – not return to life as it was before.
Mr Gove told the daily No10 press conference: “Ultimately, unless and until we have a vaccine, then I suspect we’re going to have to live with some degree of constraint because of the nature of the virus.
“We obviously want to, wherever possible, and consistent with our measures on public health, restore people’s lives to as close to normal as possible.”
Boris Johnson is preparing to lay out a “roadmap” in the coming week, likely next Sunday, for how lockdown will be eased.
The plan will include social distancing measures for workplaces, schools and public transport, and look set to ease the rules on outdoor leisure and work.
But new arrivals to the UK may have to go into quarantine, while ministers are considering higher £100 fines for those who break the rules.
Coronavirus has claimed more than 244,000 lives around the world, according to analysis by John Hopkins University.
The Government believes tackling the virus globally is crucial to preventing a second wave reemerging in the UK and it will speed up the creation of vaccines, tests and treatment.
International Development Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan said: “It is only by working together that we will prevent future waves of infection and end this pandemic as quickly as possible.
“By strengthening developing countries’ health systems and working to find a vaccine, the UK is playing its part in stopping the global spread of coronavirus to save lives everywhere and protect our NHS.”
Writing in The Independent newspaper on Sunday, the leaders of France, Germany, Italy and Norway and senior EU officials said the outbreak has “caused devastation and pain in all corners of the world”.
They said responding to the “global challenge” requires “bringing together the world’s best – and most prepared – minds to find the vaccines, treatments and therapies we need to make our world healthy again”.
The number of new daily Covid-19-linked deaths fell to 315 yesterday.
Stephen Powis, National Medical Director of NHS England, said: “It does appear that we are past the peak of deaths.”
But Prof Powis warned it was too early to say how the virus would play out “in the months and years ahead”.
And he said the NHS Nightingale field hospitals – built in several exhibition halls across the country, but barely used – will remain open for months.
Prof Powis said: “The Nightingales were not built in error – and we may still need them.
“We are not through this yet. And although government policy and the scientific advice is to try and ensure the virus does not start to spread widely again, we can never absolutely be certain.
“And therefore for the months ahead, we need to maintain that extra capacity until we have more certainty.”