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Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to give $100 million for coronavirus global response

KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA - FEBRUARY 5: A cleaner at the KL Tower wearing a mask takes a break at the tower's observation deck on February 5, 2020 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.The coronavirus, originating in Wuhan, China has spread to over 20,000 people globally with a death toll of 427 people. Thailand is at great risk for spreading the virus due to the influx of travelers from mainland China. Thailand has confirmed one of the first human to human transmissions of the coronavirus outside of China. (Photo by Ore Huiying/Getty Images)

SEATTLE — The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will give up to $100 million for the global response to the 2019 novel coronavirus outbreak, according to a news release from the foundation.

The nonprofit says the funding will go toward strengthening detection, isolation and treatment efforts; protecting at-risk populations, and developing vaccines, treatments and diagnostics.

“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,” said Gates Foundation CEO Mark Suzman. “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 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 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.

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