In response to the worldwide alarm concerning the spread of Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV), The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced that it will immediately commit up to $100 million for the global response, which includes the initial $10 million the foundation committed to the outbreak in late January.
The funding will be used to strengthen detection, isolation and treatment efforts. In addition, the funds will help protect at-risk populations, and develop 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.”
With the goal of interrupting transmission and containing the disease, the foundation will immediately commit up to $20 million to accelerate the detection, isolation and treatment of people diagnosed with the virus with. The funding will be directed to multilateral organizations such as WHO and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as national public health authorities in China and other countries that have reported confirmed cases.
In order to help these organizations to rapidly increase their virus detection capabilities and target resources to arrest the spread of the disease , the funds will be release in a quick and flexible manner in order to allow public health authorities cover the initial cost of labor and supplies before resources become available from international agencies and national governments.
The Gates Foundation will also commit up to $60 million to be used to accelerate the development of vaccines, treatments and diagnostics for 2019-nCoV.
The foundation will use its Research & Development funding to help identify and prioritize other research, and ensure they are safe, effective and made widely available.