The World Bank called on Monday for countries to step up programs to fight the new coronavirus outbreak, and said it was considering mobilizing its own resources against the disease.
“We are calling on all countries to strengthen their health surveillance and response systems, which is essential to contain the spread of this and any future outbreaks,” the institution said in a statement.
“The World Bank Group is reviewing financial and technical resources that can be mobilized quickly to support affected countries,” and also “closely coordinating with international partners to accelerate the international response.”
Since breaking out in China, the virus has killed 425 people in the country, exceeding the 349 dead in the Chinese mainland from the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreak of 2002-03, which eventually killed nearly 800 globally.
The new virus has infected 17,200 people and spread to more than 20 countries amid fears it could paralyze China and harm the global economy.