Bill Gates’ $100m commitment, WHO’s $675m appeal and all the latest about Coronavirus Epidemic

By on February 6, 2020
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The death toll from the coronavirus outbreak in mainland China is rising. The virus which originated in Wuhan, Hubei’s provincial capital had had further 24,324 people on the Chinese mainland have been infected China’s National Health Commission said on Wednesday.

The virus has killed two people outside of mainland China, one in Hong Kong and another in the Philippines. At least 25 countries have confirmed cases.

The head of the World Health Organization (WHO) has called for greater solidarity among the international community, and criticised governments for being “well behind” in sharing data on virus cases.

Here are some more latest updates:

The United States has confirmed its twelfth case of coronavirus, the first in the state of Wisconsin.

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services said in a statement that the patient is “an adult with a history of travel to Beijing, China prior to becoming ill”.

It added that the patient was “exposed to known cases” while in China and was now isolated at home.

Canadians who do not need to be in China should leave: Ottawa
Canadian citizens who do not need to be in China should leave while they still can, Foreign Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne said.

“We are advising Canadians whose presence in China is not essential to depart via commercial means while they remain available,” he told reporters.

Canada intended to fly out 200 citizens on Wednesday but will wait another 24 hours because of bad weather, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said earlier.

Hong Kong prepares to quarantine those arriving from China
Two planes carrying about 350 US citizens out of Wuhan has arrived at a US military base in California.

The US travelers on two State Department-chartered flights will be quarantined for 14 days after landing, the US Defense Department said.

WHO convening experts on drugs, vaccines to set research agenda
Experts will meet in Geneva from February 11-12 to set research and development priorities for coronavirus drugs, diagnostics and vaccines to combat the outbreak, the WHO said.

WHO Director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said a multinational WHO-led team would go to China “soon”.

Gates Foundation announce $100m for coronavirus response
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has pledged to commit up to $100m for the global response to the coronavirus.

The funding will be used to strengthen detection, isolation and treatment efforts, the foundation said, including protecting at-risk populations and developing vaccines and diagnostics.

“We’re committing up to $100 million for the global response to the 2019 novel coronavirus outbreak.
Full details: https://t.co/nHLVkeqbXH pic.twitter.com/2jBOCqS9gf” — Gates Foundation (@gatesfoundation) February 5, 2020

“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,” Gates Foundation CEO Mark Suzman said.

WHO chief: 80 percent of China virus cases are in Hubei
WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that 80 percent of China’s coronavirus cases are in the central Hubei province and that not all provinces had been affected.

He said there were 24,363 cases in China and 490 deaths. The last 24-hour period of monitoring saw the most cases in a single day, he said.

Some 99 percent fo all the cases worldwide are in China, he added.

WHO issues appeal for $675m to fight virus
The WHO has called for $675m in donations for a plan to fight the coronavirus, mainly through investment in countries considered particularly “at risk”.

“Today we’re launching a strategic preparedness and response plan … We’re requesting $675 million to fund the plan for the next three months,” WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a press briefing in Geneva.

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