BEIJING, February 14. /TASS/. The Chinese government has spent 41 bln yuan (about $5.87 bln) on the fight against the novel coronavirus, planning to double the expenses to reach 80.55 bln yuan ($11.53 bln), China’s Assistant Minister of Finance Ou Wenhan said on Friday.
"We are allocating more money to facilitate the fight against pneumonia," he said during a press conference. "We have ordered all financial bodies at all levels to prioritize healthcare and human safety."
The official stressed that the issue of financing should in no way affect the activity aimed to suppress the outbreak of the virus in Chinese regions. He added that the Chinese government regularly improves allocation of resources.
"We will win in the fight against coronavirus, and we will implement the plan for social-economic development for the current year," he concluded.
On December 31, Chinese authorities informed the World Health Organization (WHO) about an outbreak of an unknown pneumonia in the city of Wuhan - a large trade and industrial center in central China populated by 11 million people. The source of the outbreak is the COVID-19 coronavirus. The disease spread to 24 more countries apart from China - Australia, Belgium, Cambodia, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Japan, India, Italy, Malaysia, Nepal, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Thailand, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, the United States and Vietnam. WHO declared the coronavirus outbreak in China a global health emergency.
Currently, the total number of people infected with coronavirus exceeds 63,800 in China with 1,380 people reported to have died from the disease. Meanwhile, over 6,700 people are said to have recovered from it.