The logo of the G42 group. WAM
An Abu Dhabi Based AI and Cloud Computing company has launched a humanitarian initiative to support healthcare personnel in China trying to contain the coronavirus outbreak.
By leveraging its pioneering AI-focused healthcare practice, G42 took immediate action to help detect, treat and prevent the virus infection.
The company explained that their initiative came in response to the announcement on UAE’s readiness to support the international community by His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nayan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.
Sheikh Mohamed emphasised the UAE's commitment to collaborate with the international community as the epidemic has already resulted in a death toll of 130+ people, with more than 6,000 cases of infections in China mainland.
G42 will supply hundreds of thousands of units of essential goods such as surgical masks, medical gloves, goggles and protective clothing.
The company stressed that their initiative was inspired by the UAE’s long tradition of playing the role of a responsible global citizen whenever catastrophes struck any part of the world, be they humanitarian disasters, outbreak of deadly diseases or wars.
Peng Xiao, CEO of Group 42, said, "As the virus emergency keeps deteriorating, we felt compelled to make our expertise and resources available to those in need to try to alleviate this serious situation. Our team is working closely with our business partners to support local and foreign authorities in an effort aimed at curbing the spread of the disease and discovering a cure in the shortest possible time."
Other than shipping medical amenities to the affected areas, G42 is deploying its experience in the field of genomics (the company recently announced the launch of the Population Genome Programme in collaboration with the Department of Health in Abu Dhabi) to provide access to rapid genotyping through the use of portable advanced diagnostic kits that can help sequencing reagents and, eventually, find a treatment to contain the epidemic.
Commenting on the UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention’s announcement of the first case of coronavirus infection in the UAE, Peng Xiao stated that G42 is first and foremost committed to supporting the relevant UAE authorities in detecting and preventing the virus infection.
"Working directly and closely with China and our global healthcare partners has equipped us with the specialised knowledge to combat this virus. The UAE is blessed with a highly proactive national healthcare programme. Our AI-focused capabilities, such as advanced DNA analytics, can effectively supplement the efforts of our healthcare authorities," he added.
Further to supporting global efforts to contain the outbreak, G42 is also working in close coordination with local authorities to protect the UAE's borders and prevent a domestic spread of the virus. In collaboration with its partners, G42 will set up joint lab operations, train medical and security personnel, as well as leverage its cloud infrastructure and AI platform to support data storage and provide advanced data analytics on the evolution of the epidemic.
The two new patients who had recovered were also Chinese citizens, a 41-year old man, and his son, who was eight years of age, the ministry said.
The announcement follows the directives issued by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.
MoHAP confirmed that, in coordination with health authorities and the concerned authorities in the country, it has taken "all the necessary precautions in accordance with the scientific recommendations, conditions and standards approved by the World Health Organisation."
China has stated that dogs should be treated as pets, not livestock, for the first time – a move campaigners hope could signal an end to the country’s brutal cat and dog meat trade.
Guterres, who called for a cease-fire for all global conflicts on March 23, said the crisis has "hindered international, regional and national conflict resolution efforts, exactly when they are needed most.”
With the death toll passing 94,000, there remained plenty of grim news, with the IMF warning that the world was dipping into a new Great Depression and new data showing the United States has shed a massive 17 million jobs in a matter of weeks.