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Bill And Melinda Gates Foundation Pledges $100 Million To Fight Coronavirus

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Bill And Melinda Gates Foundation Pledges $100 Million To Fight Coronavirus

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has pledged up to $100 million (£77 million) to help tackle the coronavirus.

It is hoped the funds will help 'improve detection, isolation and treatment efforts; protect at-risk populations in Africa and South Asia; and accelerate the development of vaccines, drugs and diagnostics'.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has pledged up to $100 million to help fight the coronavirus. Credit: PA
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has pledged up to $100 million to help fight the coronavirus. Credit: PA

The foundation - which was set up by billionaire couple Bill and Melinda back in 2000 - already pledged $20 million (£15.39 million) late last month, and these funds are inclusive in the updated figure.

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Gates Foundation CEO Mark Suzman said: "Multilateral organisations, national governments, the private sector and philanthropies must work together to slow the pace of the outbreak, help countries protect their most vulnerable citizens and accelerate the development of the tools to bring this epidemic under control.

"Our hope is that these resources will help catalyse a rapid and effective international response. This response should be guided by science, not fear, and it should build on the steps that the World Health Organization has taken to date."

Of the total, $60 million (£46.18 million) will fund diagnostics, treatments, and vaccines; $20 million (£15.39 million) is going towards accelerating the detection, isolation and treatment of the virus and providing technical assistance for front-line responders in affected areas; and $20 million (£15.39 million) is designated to the development of prevention systems in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.

In China, the death toll has reached 563 and there are a further 28,018 confirmed cases. The virus has also spread far beyond its epicentre in Wuhan, with at least 230 confirmed cases outside mainland China, including two fatalities, one in Hong Kong and another in the Philippines.

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The foundation was set up to 'help all people lead healthy, productive lives'. Credit: PA
The foundation was set up to 'help all people lead healthy, productive lives'. Credit: PA

Explaining why the pledge had been increased, the foundation said: "The Gates Foundation is contributing more resources - in close coordination with other donors - to assist the World Health Organization (WHO), Chinese frontline responders and others at the global and national levels.

"WHO declared the 2019-nCoV outbreak a public health emergency of international concern on January 30, citing the risks the virus poses globally and the need for a worldwide coordinated effort to enhance preparedness, especially in fragile settings.

"The Government of China has also declared a national public health emergency and mobilised a nationwide effort to contain the virus and treat those who are infected."

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: World News, Charity, Health

Jake Massey
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