Bill Gates commits US$5m to fight coronavirus in Africa

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has announced that it is contributing $10 million to the fight against the coronavirus in Africa.

The foundation announced that it is giving $5 million to support China in its response. The other $5 million will go to the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention for screening and crisis preparedness there.

A press release from the foundation said that the money will be spent on "emergency funds and corresponding technical support to help frontline responders in China and Africa accelerate their efforts to contain the global spread of 2019-nCoV."

China reported the first coronavirus case in the central Chinese city of Wuhan at the end of December.

At least 2,800 people have gotten sick with about 81 people dead. The virus has reached 14 other countries. Transportation in Wuhan and other cities have come to a halt.

The $5 million which will go to China will be distributed among public and private partners that the organization already works with. This includes China's National Health Commission, the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, and the National Natural Science Foundation of China.

The money going to the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention is for "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."

Currently, no African countries have reported any confirmed cases of the new coronavirus. However, a woman in Ivory Coast with flu-like symptoms has been isolated and is under observation after she arrived from Beijing over the weekend.


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