Now that the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is officially a global pandemic, everyone has one common goal, keep everybody safe from the deadly disease. To strengthen the response against the rapid spread of the virus, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations have partnered to curb the pandemic, as they launched the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund.
The fund, which is the first-of-its-kind, will enable private individuals, institutions, and corporations across the globe to work together and contribute to global response efforts.
Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2: This scanning electron microscope image shows SARS-CoV-2 (round gold objects) emerging from the surface of cells cultured in the lab. SARS-CoV-2, also known as 2019-nCoV, is the virus that causes COVID-19. The virus shown was isolated from a patient in the U.S. Credit: NIAID-RML
The COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund
During times of need, a response fund will help raise money from a broad range of donors from different countries to support the work of the WHO and its partners. This way, they can respond to the needs of countries shaken by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The fund will unite many private individuals, corporations and organizations to contribute to global efforts to stem the outbreak. The response has been pioneered by the WHO, the United Nations, and the Swiss Philanthropy Foundation.
“We are at a critical point in the global response to COVID-19 – we need everyone to get involved in this massive effort to keep the world safe,” Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, said.
“We are immensely grateful to the UN Foundation and the Swiss Philanthropy Foundation for coming forward to help us set up this fund. A lot of people and institutions have been saying they want to contribute to the fight against the novel coronavirus. Now they can,” he added.
The funds raised will be allocated toward actions outlined in the COVID-19 Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan to enable vulnerable countries with weak healthcare systems to prepare for the outbreak. The response includes fast detection of cases, stemming transmission of the pathogen, and caring for those who are infected.
Further, the funds will help in the manufacture and distribution of personal protective equipment for frontline health workers who are serving those who are negatively impacted. The partnership will also enable diagnostic laboratories to be equipped with the tests needed for the disease. The funds will help strengthen supply chains, improve surveillance and data collection, maintain intensive care units, and hasten research and development of treatments and vaccines.
Apart from the partnership with the UN, the WHO will work closely with the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) to ensure the latest and most reliable information about the pandemic reaches the global business community.
The pandemic has caused immense problems in the business sector as many businesses have shut down amid lockdown regulations in many countries and cities. All companies play pivotal roles in minimizing the risk of transmission and negative impact on the community. Early action will help curb the spread of the deadly virus, which includes precautionary measures to reduce risks to employees and long-term effects on the economy.
What is happening?
The global pandemic, caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has emerged in late December 2019 in a seafood market in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, in China. On Jan. 23, the city was locked down, and residents were barred from leaving the city. Now, the outbreak has since spread to 155 countries, regions, and sovereignties, infecting 181,800 people across the globe. The death toll has reached 7,146, with Italy reporting the highest number of infections and deaths outside China. Italy has so far nearly 28,000 confirmed cases and more than 2,100 deaths. To compare, China has reported more than 81,000 infections and more than 3,100 deaths.
The death rate in Italy is far more than that of China, with more than 7 percent fatality rate. Iran has reported 14,991 infections, while Spain surpassed South Korea with 9,942 confirmed cases, while South Korea has 8,320 cases. The death toll of Spain and France are also high, with 342 and 148 deaths, respectively.