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Travelers at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport wear masks Tuesday, March 3, 2020, in SeaTac, Wash. Six of the 18 Western Washington residents with the coronavirus have died as health officials rush to test more suspected cases and communities brace for spread of the disease. All confirmed cases of the virus in Washington are in Snohomish and King counties. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

NEW YORK, N.Y. – AID AVAILABLE: The World Bank announced Tuesday that it is making $12 billion available to provide immediate support to low-income countries dealing with the health and economic impacts of the coronavirus.

World Bank President David Malpass said the money will go to help developing nations strengthen their health systems that are fighting an epidemic that has already spread to more than 60 countries.

“The point is to move fast,” Malpass told reporters. “Speed is needed to save lives.”

Of the $12 billion in support, $8 billion represents new funds and $4 billion is being re-allocated from existing programs, Malpass said.

The World Bank funds are designed to help countries detect when the virus crosses their borders and purchase medical equipment to treat any outbreaks.

PUBLIC FORUMS: The 189-nation International Monetary Fund and its sister lending organization, the World Bank, announced Tuesday that they will replace their regular spring meetings in Washington with a “virtual format” in response to the coronavirus.

In a joint statement, IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva and World Bank President David Malpass said their decision was being made given “growing health concerns related to the virus.”

The two global lending organizations normally hold an annual spring meeting in Washington, where they both have their headquarters. This year’s meeting had been scheduled for the week of April 13.