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Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation donates $100M to coronavirus treatment

The money will go toward detection and treatment efforts for the deadly virus.

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A Chinese girl wears a protective mask as she and her relative wait to board a train at Beijing Railway Station in January. 

Kevin Frayer/Getty Images

On Wednesday, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation said it would immediately commit up to $100 million to the global response to the coronavirus, to help improve detection, isolation and treatment efforts; protect at-risk populations; and develop vaccines. Originally, in late January, the foundation committed $10 million to support these efforts. 

Coronavirus is a pneumonia-like illness first detected in Wuhan, China, in December. It was declared a public health emergency by the World Health Organization on Jan. 30. The virus has infected more than 24,000 Chinese citizens and claimed more than 490 lives

"Multilateral organizations, national governments, the private sector and philanthropies must work together to slow the pace of the outbreak, help countries protect their most vulnerable citizens and accelerate the development of the tools to bring this epidemic under control," Gates Foundation CEO Mark Suzman said in a press release. "Our hope is that these resources will help catalyze a rapid and effective international response. This response should be guided by science, not fear, and it should build on the steps that the World Health Organization has taken to date."

Read more: How to protect yourself from coronavirus