Jack Ma, co-founder of Alibaba, Chinese e-commerce company, has announced a donation of 1.1 million testing kits and six million masks to fight coronavirus in Africa.
Twenty-seven African countries have recorded cases of COVID-19, the latest being Benin, Liberia, Somalia and Tanzania. In a statement on Monday, Ma said the world cannot afford the consequences of a COVlD-19 pandemic in Africa.
“We can take precautions now and get prepared ahead of time as Africa can benefit from the experience and lessons from other countries that were earlier hit hard by the virus,” he said. “To combat the potential surging demand for medical supplies and equipment in Africa, Jack Ma Foundation and Alibaba Foundation will donate to each one of the 54 African nations 20, 000 testing kits, 100,000 masks, and 1,000 medical use protective suits and face shields.
“In addition, we will immediately start working with medical institutions in Africa to provide online training material for COVID-19 clinical treatment. “In total, 1.1 million testing kits, 6 million masks, and 60,000 medical use protective suits and face shields will be delivered to Addis Ababa, capital of Ethiopia.”
He said Abiy Ahmed Ali, prime minister of Ethiopia, has agreed to take the lead in managing the logistics and distribution of the supplies to the other African countries. The renowned entrepreneur said the crisis is proving to be more difficult and longer-lasting than was expected, and efforts must be made at preparing against it. He said the past two months had shown that proactive measures would help in containing the virus.
”Now it is as if we were all living in the same forest on fire. As members of the global community, it would be irresponsible of us to sit on the fence, panic, ignore facts or fail to act. We need to take action now!” he said.