The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation says it is immediately committing $10 million in emergency funds and technical support to help frontline responders in China and Africa accelerate their efforts to contain the global spread of novel Coronavirus.
The foundation in a statement released on its website on Monday said that it was committing $5 million to the coronavirus response in China, and was already working with a range of Chinese public and private sector partners to accelerate national and international cooperation.
It said that international cooperation would be in the areas of critical need, including efforts to identify and confirm cases, safely isolate and care for patients and accelerate the development of treatments and vaccines.
According to the foundation, its partners include the National Health Commission and Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention; the National Natural Science Foundation of China.
Others are various research institutes affiliated with the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xiamen University and Sinopharm China National Biotec Group.
The foundation further said it would immediately commit N5 million to assist the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in scaling up public health measures against coronavirus among African Union member states.
“These measures will include technical support to implement the screening and treatment of suspected cases, laboratory confirmation of 2019-nCoV diagnoses and the safe isolation and care of identified cases,” it said.
The new coronavirus (known as 2019-nCoV) was first reported in Wuhan City, China, on Dec. 31, 2019, and has since been detected in 10 other countries, including Thailand, Japan, France and the US.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), as at Jan. 26, there has been 2014 confirmed cases of 2019-nCoV, and at least 56 people have died from the virus which is from the same family as SARS and the common cold.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is guided by the belief that every life has equal value, and works to help all people lead healthy, and productive lives.
In developing countries, it focuses on improving people’s health and giving them the chance to lift themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty.