The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has pledged a commitment of $100 million to fight the coronavirus outbreak that originated from Wuhan city in China, it announced Wednesday.
The non-profit organization founded by Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT) co-founder Bill Gates and his wife Melinda Gates said the funding would help "strengthen detection, isolation and treatment efforts."
The funding will also go towards the development of vaccines and protect at-risk populations, the Gates Foundation said in a statement.
"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.
"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 $100 million fund includes the $10 million funding that the foundation had announced earlier in January.
The foundation said it is contributing its resources towards the efforts of the World Health Organization, frontline responders in China, and others who are leading the fight against the virus that has claimed more than 560 lives by Thursday (Beijing time).
The funding will come in installments, including an immediate donation of $20 million to organizations like the WHO and the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it said. Another $20 million will go to "at-risk" regions like sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.
The rest $60 million will be donated towards the discovery and development of a vaccine, according to the foundation.
Why It Matters
Multiple corporations and non-profit organizations have come forward to donate towards the fight against the virus outbreak gripping China.
The coronavirus that originated from the Wuhan city of China's Hubei province has infected more than 28,000 people throughout the country, with another odd 200 cases reported worldwide in 25 countries.
Microsoft shares traded 0.5% higher in the after-hours market after closing the regular session 0.12% lower at $179.90.
Photo Credit: Public domain photo via Wikimedia.