Coronavirus: Jack Ma donates masks, testing kits to all African countries


Coronavirus: Jack Ma donates masks, testing kits to all African countries
The first shipment of masks and coronavirus test kits leaves Shanghai airport for the United States. PHOTO| COURTESY

Chinese billionaire and Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma has donated millions of masks and medical equipment to combat the Covid-19 (coronavirus) pandemic in African countries.

In a statement issued on Monday, Jack Ma said he will issue out a total of 1.1 million testing kits, 6 million masks and 60,000 medical use protective suits and face shields that will be distributed among the 54 African nations.

According to the Alibaba co-founder, each African country will receive 20,000 testing kits, 100,000 masks and 1,000 medical use protective suits and face shields.

The equipment will be shipped to Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa.

“Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed of Ethiopia has agreed to take the lead in managing the logistics and distribution of these supplies to other African countries. I want to express a big ‘Thank You’ to the Ethiopian government and Prime Minister Abiy,” said Jack Ma.

The Chinese billionaire further says that the Jack Ma Foundation and Alibaba Foundation will immediately start working with medical institutions in Africa to provide online training material for COVID-19 clinical treatment.

The Alibaba co-founder says the donation is meant “to combat the potential surging demand for medical supplies and equipment in Africa.”

“We cannot ignore the potential risk to Africa and assume this continent of 1.3 billion people will blissfully escape this crisis. The world cannot afford the unthinkable consequences of a COVID-19 pandemic in Africa,” he stated.

Jack Ma has also made similar donations to the US, Japan and countries in Europe.

While announcing the donation of 500,000 coronavirus testing kits and one million face masks to the United States, Jack Ma said: “Drawing from my own country’s experience, speedy and accurate testing and adequate personal protective equipment for medical professionals are most effective in preventing the spread of the virus.”

“We hope that our donation can help Americans fight against the pandemic!” he added, ending his statement with the quote: “United we stand, divided we fall.”

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Story By Benjamin Muriuki
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