Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma, China's richest man, has committed 100 million yuan ($14.4 million) through his foundation to help fund vaccine development for the Wuhan coronavirus, CNN Business reports.
According to a social media post from the Jack Ma Foundation, 40 million yuan ($5.8 million) of the commitment has been earmarked for two Chinese government research organizations, while the remaining 60 million yuan ($8.6 million) will support "prevention and treatment" measures. Earlier in the day, Alibaba announced the establishment of a 1 billion yuan ($144 million) fund for the purchase of medical supplies for use in Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak, and Hubei province. The Internet giant also said it would share its artificial intelligence expertise with researchers, epidemiologists, and public health experts working to contain the outbreak.
On Thursday, the World Health Organization's International Health regulations Emergency Committee declared the fast-spreading virus to be a global health emergency — a designation that will help the international agency mobilize financial and political support to contain its spread.
China said Thursday that the total number of deaths from the coronavirus had risen to a hundred and seventy-one, with cases now confirmed in every province and region in the country. More than eighty-one hundred people in mainland China have been sickened by the virus, while sixty-eight cases, including the first case of human-to-human transmission in the United States, have been reported outside the country.
(Photo credit: Gettyimages - Manjurul)