The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is partnering with The University of Washington (UW) to provide coronavirus home testing kits for people living in the Seattle area.
According to The Seattle Times, the kits will include nose swabs. After a swab sample is taken, it will then be sent to UW for analysis. The idea is to help those suspected of having the disease to get tested without risking doctors and other health workers.
The results are to be available within a day or two and experts can process thousands of tests per day. Local health officials will have access to the results and then share the results with those who test positive.
After this, those who test positive will answer questions regarding their movements and contacts via online forms. This way it is easier for health officials to locate others who may need testing or quarantine. This will also help to track the spread of the disease and identify potential hotspots.
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Scott Dowell, leader of coronavirus response at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, says:
“One of the most important things from our perspective, having watched and worked on this in other parts of the world, is the identification of people who are positive for the virus, so they can be safely isolated and cared for, and the identification of their contacts, who can then be quarantined.”
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will give $5 million to public health agencies in Seattle
The foundation with its headquarters in Seattle made a pledge of $100 million towards fighting coronavirus in February 2020. It also gives an additional $5 million to public health agencies in the greater Seattle area. This is to help them bolster their response.
Washington Governor, Jay Inslee declared a state of emergency over the disease on 29th February 2020. Seattle alone has confirmed 136 cases of the virus and 18 deaths. Bill Gates said in 2017 that advances in biotechnology can help prevent epidemics from spiraling out of control.
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