Chinese President Xi Jinping has written a letter to Bill Gates thanking him for the 'generosity' of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and their support for tackling the outbreak of coronavirus. According to media reports, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has committed up to $100 million for the global response to the virus that broke out in China in December last year. As per media reports, Xi Jinping in his letter appreciated the generosity shown by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and called for enhanced international coordination and concerted efforts against the outbreak.
According to reports, the money committed by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will be used to strengthen detection, treatment efforts, protecting at-risk populations and developing vaccines. Media reports stated that the foundation would direct $20 million to organisations like WHO, National Health Commission of China, US Center for Disease Control and Protection and the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
In a letter that was shared by the Chinese government on their official website, President Xi Jinping wrote, "As I often say, mankind is a community with a shared future. To prevail over a disease that threatens all, unity and cooperation is the most powerful weapon. The Foundation has been quick in joining the global action and has played an active role in the global response against the outbreak. I support your cooperation with relevant Chinese institutions, and look forward to enhanced coordination and concerted efforts in the international community for the sake of health and well-being of all."
China is battling the contagious virus as millions remain under lockdown in the central Hubei province, the epicentre of the disease. According to media reports, the new coronavirus has claimed over 2,400 lives in China alone and has infected more than 79,000 people. The United States Center for Disease Control (CDC) had earlier said that the virus has already spread to 27 countries, including as far as western Europe. As per reports, the coronavirus originated from a seafood market in China's Wuhan city, where animals were being traded illegally.
The coronavirus has claimed more lives than its predecessor Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). According to reports, SARS, which broke out in China in 2002-2003 had claimed more than 774 lives, which is way below the current death toll from COVID-19. According to reports, China on February 13 reported the highest number of deaths caused by the virus in a single day as 254 people died in Hubei province.