SINGAPORE: Singapore will contribute US$500,000 (S$730,000) to the World Health Organization (WHO) in support of its efforts to limit transmission of the coronavirus.
In response to appeals by the United Nations and WHO, the Singapore Government will be making the contribution to WHO’s Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan (SPRP) for COVID-19, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Health said in a joint statement on Monday (Mar 23).
The SPRP aims to limit human-to-human transmission of the virus.
"Singapore is deeply concerned about the growing scale of the COVID-19 outbreak and its enormous public health, social and economic impact, including the loss of many precious lives," authorities here said.
"Singapore will continue to work closely with the WHO and the UN to explore how best we can contribute to the ongoing efforts."
In a Facebook post about Singapore's contribution to the efforts, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong thanked the WHO's director-general Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus and his team for their "tireless efforts in this global crisis".
"COVID-19 is a global problem, which no country can deal with alone. Instead they must work together as members of a global community," said Mr Lee.
"Singapore will continue to cooperate with the WHO and the UN to overcome this global pandemic," Mr Lee added.
The virus, which emerged in China's Wuhan last December, has killed more than 15,000 people around the world, infecting more than 300,000 so far.
It has since spread around the world, with countries in Europe such as Italy and Spain seeing jumps in the number of infections over the few weeks. The United States has also reported tens of thousands of cases.
Two people died on Saturday in Singapore, which has reported 509 cases since January. A total of 152 cases have fully recovered from the infection in the country, with 355 still in hospital.
Singapore announced the closure of its borders to short-term visitors from 11.59pm on Monday, amid a spike in imported cases. Many countries around the world have implemented similar measures, putting cities in lockdown and devastating the global economy.