The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced Wednesday that it will donate another 150 million U.S. dollars for the global response to COVID-19, bringing its total funding to over 250 million dollars.
The additional fund will contribute to the development of diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines, and help countries in Africa and South Asia to step up COVID-19 detection, treatment and isolation efforts, the Seattle-based charity said in a statement.
“The funding announced today builds on the 100 million dollars the foundation has committed to date to support the global response, as well as 5 million dollars in resources to support public health agencies and frontline response organizations in the greater Seattle region,” it said.
The foundation will also leverage a portion of its 2.5-billion-dollar Strategic Investment Fund to help secure medical supplies and incentivize private companies to develop affordable and accessible health products, it said. “COVID-19 doesn’t obey border laws.
Even if most countries succeed in slowing the disease over the next few months, the virus could return if the pandemic remains severe enough elsewhere,” the statement quoted Bill Gates, co-chair of the foundation, as saying.”The world community must understand that so long as COVID-19 is somewhere, we need to act as if it were everywhere.
Beating this pandemic will require an unprecedented level of international funding and cooperation,” he said.So far, global confirmed COVID-19 cases have topped 2 million with over 136,000 deaths, according to the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.