United Nations has released USD 15 million from the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) to help fund the global efforts to contain the novel Coronavirus COVID-19. UN Humanitarian Chief Mark Lowcock announced the release of the fund after the World Health Organisation (WHO) raised the alert to its top level of risk assessment - ‘very high’.
“We do not yet see evidence that the virus is spreading freely. As long as that’s the case, we still have a chance of containing it,” said Lowcock.
The UN funding has been released for the WHO and the UNICEF to help essential activities including monitoring the spread of the virus, investigating cases, and the operation of national laboratories. The WHO has called for USD 675 million in funding to combat the deadly virus. WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that the biggest concern is the countries with weaker health systems.
“These funds will help support these countries get ready for detecting and isolating cases, protecting their health workers, and treating patients with dignity and appropriate care,” said Ghebreyesus.
The WHO has said that there is still a chance to contain the deadly virus if the chain of transmission gets broken. The Coronavirus cases in Italy, Iran, and South Korea dramatically increased within a week and now the United States has also reported six deaths and 91 confirmed cases.
India has also reported its first case where the virus was transmitted from outside China. The Health Ministry released a statement saying one positive case has been detected in New Delhi and the other one in Telangana. The person from Delhi has a travel history with Italy, the European nation which has reported at least 52 deaths due to the deadly virus.
The threat is growing with every passing day and the European Union has also raised the risk level of Coronavirus from ‘moderate’ to ‘high’. Speaking at a news conference on March 2, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced that the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control raised the risk level looking at the concerning situation.