By Daisy Okanga | Chinese billionaire and Co-Founder of Alibaba Jack Ma, has offered to donate masks, test kits and protective suits to all countries in Africa to help the continent in its fight against COVID-19 pandemic.
To combat the rising demand and need for medical supplies and equipment on the continent. Jack Ma has offered to donate to each of the 54 countries in Africa 20000 testing kits, 10000 masks and 1000 medical use protective suits and face shields.
“The crisis is proving to be more difficult and longer-lasting than any of us had expected. We must make every effort to get prepared. The past two months show us that we take it very seriously and are proactive, we are more than capable of containing the virus.” Jack Ma said in a statement.
The items will be delivered to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed will oversee the distribution of the supplies to other African countries.
“The world cannot afford the unthinkable consequences of a COVID-19 pandemic in Africa,” he added.
Ma has already put in place 100 million yuan (Ksh1.4 billion) through his foundation to support medical research efforts and disease prevention even as the virus continues to distort the global economy.
“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,” Ma said in the statement, urging people to eliminate boundaries to sources and share hard-earned lessons.
Thirty countries in Africa have so far confirmed over 300 cases, with Egypt being the hardest hit and has reported over 100 cases.
By Monday, Benin, Liberia, Somalia and Tanzania confirmed first cases.
Speaking to reporters on Monday,Tanzania Health Minister Ummy Mwalimu said the coronavirus patient is a 46-year-old Tanzanian woman who arrived in Arusha from Belgium on the afternoon of March 14.