ADB helps regional countries combat nCoV

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved US$2 million in funding to support efforts to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The funds will supplement an ongoing regional technical assistance and strengthen the response capacity in Cambodia, China, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam, the bank said in a statement issued on February 7.

The funds will be used to improve outbreak investigation and surveillance, including in rural areas, and strengthen health systems' resilience and capacity for epidemic response, including support for the supply of diagnostic and laboratory equipment for rapid testing.

"ADB has a track record of providing rapid and targeted support to our members in emergency situations," said ADB President Masatsugu Asakawa.

The bank stands ready to provide further assistance as required, he affirmed.

The bank is collaborating closely with World Health Organisation officials and regional experts to identify areas for coordinated responses and possible further financial assistance to respond to the virus outbreak situation, it said.

The bank's economists are looking at the virus outbreak's impact on the region's economies, including through channels such as tourism, consumption, trade, and supply chains, the bank added.