Co-founder of Alibaba, Jack Ma, has offered to donate 1.1 million testing kits and six million masks to battle Coronavirus in Africa where about 27 countries have recorded cases of COVID-19, but not as widespread as in Europe, Asia and America.
Jack Ma said the donation is for Africa to prepare ahead before Coronavirus becomes a pandemic in the continent. According to him, it’s important to share experiences from other countries that have been able to battle the virus effectively with African countries.
The COVID-19 virus started in Wuhan province, a city in China before spreading across the world. The growth of the spread has made the World Health Organisation (WHO) declare it as a pandemic. However, despite the increasing spread in Europe and America, Africa has recorded lower cases.
In Nigeria, there are three known cases of Coronavirus – the unnamed Italian man, who was diagnosed with the virus a day after he arrived in Nigeria for a business visit with Lafarge; the patient that later tested negative to the virus, and a 30-year old lady discovered by the Lagos State Ministry of Health today.
Regardless of the low cases recorded in Africa, Jack Ma believes precaution needs to be taken and it would be unwise for the Jack Ma Foundation and Alibaba Foundation to sit on the fence while the virus affects everyone directly or indirectly.
“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.
“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,” Jack Ma said.
He added that “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.
”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!”
The e-commerce boss said the Coronavirus had lasted longer than expected and proven to be more difficult. It was revealed that the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Abiy Ahmed Ali, would manage the logistics and distribution of the supplies to other African countries.