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Gates Foundation to give $150 million more to combat COVID-19 globally

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New York: The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has announced an additional USD 150 million of grant for the global fight against the deadly coronavirus, raising its total funding to more than USD 250 million.

The foundation also called on world leaders to unite in a global response to COVID-19, that has infected over 2 million people worldwide, to ensure equitable access to diagnostics, treatments, and vaccines.

“It is increasingly clear that the world’s response to this pandemic will not be effective unless it is also equitable,” Gates Foundation co-chair Melinda Gates said in a statement on Wednesday.

“We have a responsibility to meet this global crisis with global solidarity. In addition to contributing to the development of diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccines, these funds will support efforts against COVID-19 in low-and-middle-income countries, where local leaders and healthcare workers are doing heroic work to protect vulnerable communities and slow the spread of the disease.”

The foundation’s new USD 150 million commitment will fund the development of diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccines, as well as new efforts to provide partners in Africa and South Asia with resources to scale their COVID-19 detection, treatment, and isolation efforts, it said.

The additional funding brings foundation commitment to more than USD 250 million to help mitigate the social and economic impacts of the virus.

According to the Johns Hopkins University data, over 2 million people are infected by the virus and more than 136,000 people have died of the disease globally.

“COVID-19 does not 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,” foundation co-chair Bill Gates said in the statement.

“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.”

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