Bill Gates is spending Ksh.1 bn to fight coronavirus in Africa

Bill Gates

As the outbreak of the Wuhan coronavirus in central China continues to cause ripple effect around the world, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has announced that it is contributing USD10 million (Ksh1 billion) to contain the outbreak.

Out of the amount, the Bill Gates Foundation is giving Ksh500 million to support the response in China, while the other Ksh500 million is going to the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention for screening and crisis preparedness there.

The money will be spent on “emergency funds and corresponding technical support to help frontline responders in China and Africa accelerate their efforts to contain the global spread of the virus,” the foundation said in a press release. The BI reported.

In Africa, Kenya is the latest country to have reported a patient with symptoms of the virus. She was a Kenya Airways (KQ) passenger who had arrived from Guangzhou, China with flu-like symptoms on Tuesday and was quarantined at the Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) over fears of the new coronavirus.

World Health Organisation (WHO) says the virus may not be as deadly as other types of coronavirus such as SARS, which killed nearly 800 people worldwide during a 2002-03 outbreak that also originated from China.

Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), which did not spread as widely in the early 2000s, was more deadly, killing a third of those it infected.

No deaths have been reported outside China.

China and countries around the world are scrambling to contain the spread of a new coronavirus that has so far claimed more than 130 lives and infected more than 6,063

The Gates Foundation has helped fund the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), which was founded after the Ebola epidemic in sub-Saharan Africa in 2014.

The group aims to speed up the testing and deployment of vaccines for infectious diseases. It’s working on a vaccine for the Wuhan coronavirus.

Lucky for Africans, But until when will the alike virus which killed more than 800 people in 2003 last?

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Lawrence Baraza is a prolific writer with competencies in Digital Media, Print, and Broadcast. Baraza is also a Communication Practitioner currently spearheading Digital content on Metropol TV's Digital Desk.

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