Medtronic plc, the world's largest stand-alone medical device maker, committed $1.2 million in cash and products to treat patients around the world infected with the deadly coronavirus.
The company's charitable group, Medtronic Foundation, is supporting two groups that are deploying medical teams and supplies to the areas hardest hit by the virus outbreak, which has killed more than 1,000 people in China as of Feb. 10.
Medtronic also will give money to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control to help respond to the health threat.
Believed to have emerged in early December when people came in close contact with infected animals in China, new cases are spreading human to human and a global race is on to find treatments and a vaccine.
Coronaviruses usually target the upper respiratory tract and cause a range of illnesses, including pneumonia. However, new evidence indicates it also may affect the central nervous system and cause long-term neurological damage.
There were more than 42,600 confirmed cases in China as of Feb. 10. To get more medical teams to the country, the Medtronic Foundation is donating cash to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in addition to the CDC Foundation, to meet fast-emerging needs. It also is giving to Project HOPE, which is delivering shipments of personal protective equipment — such as respirator masks, protective suits and nitrile gloves — to hospitals in China.
Medtronic also is giving products to Wuhan Huoshenshan Hospital, which has been designated for treating coronavirus patients. The company is donating ventilators, respiratory filters, and pulse oximeters and sensors to treat patients with severe respiratory illness. For patients undergoing cardiopulmonary bypass surgery, the company is donating sensors and centrifugal blood pump systems.
Medtronic is a global health care leader that is committed to supporting impacted communities across the globe, according to Omar Ishrak, Medtronic chairman and CEO.
"Our longstanding mission calls on us to maintain good citizenship as a company as we aim to alleviate pain, restore health, and extend life for people around the world," Ishrak said in a news release. "This guides our work every day and we are determined to do everything we can to care for our employees, their families, and their local communities as we address this global health crisis collectively."
Medtronic posted sales of $29.9 billion in its 2018 fiscal year. The company, which is the sole funder of Medtronic Foundation, has more than 90,000 employees doing business in 150 countries.