Western Australia will establish a multi-million-dollar fund to boost research into the coronavirus and to ramp up the state's testing regime.
The government will dedicate $6 million from the Future Health Research and Innovation Fund with similar cash coming from the private sector.
The increased research efforts will be led by WA Chief Scientist Peter Klinken who says the fight against COVID-19 is one of the most serious challenges facing humanity for some time.
"New cures, new treatments don't fall magically from the sky," he said.
"We have to do the hard yakka. You have to do the work behind the scenes so you can come up with new solutions.
"It's a new virus, it's something that we are coming to terms with, and unless you're doing the research you will never understand it."
Health Minister Roger Cook said legislation to set up the fund would be introduced to state parliament next week.
He said the money would also help expand COVID-19 testing to various groups of interest including emergency and health care workers, aged care staff and supermarket employees.
On Saturday, the government also announced no new virus infections leaving the state's total at 552.
Of those, only seven cases remain active with four people in hospital and one of those in intensive care.
On Sunday the state government will outline which restrictions will next be eased, with the focus on changes that stimulate the economy.
Mr Cook cautioned that those changes would be just the "beginning of a long journey".
"We will look at what we can do to ease restrictions in order to reopen the economy," he said.
"But we will only do a small amount, sit back, wait to see what the response is and make sure there is no outbreak of the disease that's uncontrollable."
WA has also indicated the state's border restrictions will not be lifted soon.
Australian Associated Press