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Bill And Melinda Gates Foundation Pledges $100 Million For Coronavirus Relief

Unprecedented efforts have been undertaken around the globe to contain the novel coronavirus outbreak that appeared in Wuhan, China, in December.

The Chinese government has locked down several major cities, putting more than 50 million people in quarantine conditions, and built two new 1,000+ bed hospitals from the ground up in a matter of days to contain the spread as best as possible.

However, the disease continues to spread, with more than 30,000 infections now confirmed, mostly in China. The novel coronavirus has claimed 636 lives in China so far.

The fight to contain the virus is receiving a welcome injection of funds from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.


The Gates Foundation has a long history of contributing to public health causes, including a 2009 donation of $33 million to China's battle against an outbreak of tuberculosis.

Now, the foundation has pledged $100 million to the coronavirus relief efforts, upping the ante of a previous pledge of $10 million, CNN reported.

The foundation also isn't wasting any time trying to get the funds where they're needed.

With a stated goal of having the money used to help develop a vaccine, limit the virus's spread, and improve the detection and treatment of patients, the foundation has targeted a couple of areas in urgent need.

Groups including the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization will immediately receive $20 million. Another $20 million has been directed for immediate release to health authorities in South Asia and Africa, where the foundation says a lack of access to good health care opens up people to higher risk of contamination.

Funding will also be directed to public health authorities in countries affected by the outbreak, including China.

"The release of fast and flexible funding is intended to help multilateral organizations and national public health authorities rapidly scale up their virus detection capabilities and implement disease modeling analytics," a foundation statement read.

Much of the rest of the funding will go toward vaccine development, treatment, and diagnostics to help prevent the disease from spreading.

"Multilateral organizations, 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," the statement continued.

"Our hope is that these resources will help catalyze 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."

The Gates' are not the only wealthy individuals donating to coronavirus relief efforts.

Most notably, Alibaba founder Jack Ma has donated 100 million yuan ($14.4 million U.S.), and Citadel's Ken Griffin and LVMH chairman Bernard Arsenault have also made donations, Forbes reported.

h/t: CNN, Forbes