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China's Richest Man Jack Ma Donates £11 Million To Help Develop Coronavirus Vaccine

China's Richest Man Jack Ma Donates £11 Million To Help Develop Coronavirus Vaccine

China's richest man Jack Ma has donated 100 million yuan (£11m/$14.4m) in a bid to assist scientists who are attempting to develop a new vaccine for the deadly coronavirus.

The 55-year-old, who founded e-commerce company Alibaba, announced the generous donation through his foundation's Weibo page.

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Temperatures of road users are being taken to detect the coronavirus. Credit: PA
Temperatures of road users are being taken to detect the coronavirus. Credit: PA

In the announcement, the company wrote that the money will be used 'to support the development of a coronavirus vaccine', adding that 20 million yuan (£2.2m/$2.8m) would go to both the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Chinese Academy of Engineering for the current research and development of virus vaccines.

The foundation wrote: "The remaining funds will be used to support domestic and foreign top scientific research institutions and researchers to collaborate."

According to MailOnline, this generous donation has come just days after Alibaba promised one billion yuan (£110m/$144m) to help purchase medical supplies for hospitals in Wuhan and Hubei Province.

The construction site of Huoshenshan Hospital in Wuhan which is being built to tackle the coronavirus. Credit: PA
The construction site of Huoshenshan Hospital in Wuhan which is being built to tackle the coronavirus. Credit: PA
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Wuhan is believed to be the epicentre of the outbreak, which has killed at least 106 people and infected around 4,500, the BBC reports.

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China's Richest Man Jack Ma Donates 1M Face Masks And 500K Coronavirus Test Kits To US

The city of Wuhan is rushing to build a hospital in a matter of days that will treat people who have been infected with the deadly disease.

Diggers and bulldozers were pictured on a building site and employees will be required to work around the clock to get the 1,000-bed space built in six days - and it will be put to use on 3 February.

The hospital will be made from prefabricated materials - making it quicker and cheaper to build - and it will sit on the outskirts of the city on a 25,000- square-meter (270,000-square-foot) lot.

Wuhan's facility will mirror Beijing's strategy, after they built a hospital in seven days to control the deadly Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) back in 2003. This ended up treating one-seventh of the country's patients.

The hospital will sit in the Caidian District of western suburb of Wuhan. Credit: PA
The hospital will sit in the Caidian District of western suburb of Wuhan. Credit: PA
Aerial photo taken on 24 January 2020. Credit: PA
Aerial photo taken on 24 January 2020. Credit: PA

UK scientists at Imperial College London have said they estimate around 100,000 people around the world could be infected with the new coronavirus.

Professor Neil Ferguson, a public health expert at the university, told The Guardian: "Sooner or later we will get a case [in the UK].

"There are very large numbers of Chinese tourists across Europe right now. Unless the Chinese manage to control this, and I'm sceptical about whether that is possible, we will get cases here."

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: World News, News, China News, coronavirus

Rebecca Shepherd

I'm Becky - a journalist at LADbible. I graduated with a First Class BA in Journalism before going on to cover criminal court cases, medical tribunals and breaking news for the national media - which inevitably and eventually became as glum as it sounds. Can often be found rocking a bag for life - which I made a 'thing' way before Rihanna. You can contact me at [email protected]