The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, in association with MasterCard and Wellcome, are pledging $125 million USD to assist in the research and development of treatments for the novel coronavirus. The foundation has already made strides in efforts to relieve some of the strain put on medical professionals during the epidemic by creating home test kits for the coronavirus, which will be distributed around Seattle and neighboring areas. A quote from The Seattle Times regarding how the test kits will work said:
“When the system is up and running, people in the Seattle area who think they might be infected with SARS-CoV-2, the scientific name for the new coronavirus, can fill out a questionnaire online. If their symptoms are consistent, they can request a test kit, which will be delivered to their home within two hours. The swabs will be collected and delivered to a lab for processing.”
While the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Wellcome, and MasterCard are offering relief on the medical front of coronavirus, companies like Amazon and Microsoft are offering relief on an economic level.
The COVID-19 Response Fund, arranged by the Seattle Foundation and spearheaded by large names such as Amazon, Microsoft, and The Starbucks Foundation, is a relief effort specifically focused on the economic repercussions such an outbreak can have on affected communities. The fund aims to:
“…increase resiliency in disproportionately affected communities by addressing the economic impact of reduced and lost work due to the broader COVID-19 outbreak, the immediate needs of economically vulnerable populations caused by COVID-19 related closures, the increased demand for medical information and support, and fear and confusion about the outbreak among our most vulnerable residents.”
Amazon has also created a relief effort, named the Neighborhood Small Relief Fund, and given it resources of $5 million USD to allocate to small local businesses impacted by the spread of COVID-19 in Seattle.