ADDIS ABABA – Chinese billionaire Jack Ma has sent the second batch of medical equipment donation to support Africa’s response to COVID-19 pandemic.
The co-founder of e-commerce multinational Alibaba has now donated 500 ventilators, 200,000 suits and face shields, 2,000 thermometers, one million swabs and extraction kits as well as 500,000 gloves.
“Our second donation to 54 countries in Africa is on the way,” he announced on twitter.
Like the first batch, the medical supplies will first be shipped to Ethiopia, whose leader partnered with Jack to make the donation possible, before they are distributed to the 54 African countries.
On Sunday, the billionaire expressed his gratitude to Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, Ethiopian Airlines, Africa CDC and World Food Program “for your partnership”.
Jack Ma had previously donated over a million laboratory diagnostic test kits and infection prevention and control materials to the continent.
Public health experts have warned a severe shortage of supplies, in particular ventilators, across Africa.
Late last month, the Norwegian Refugee Council revealed last month that countries like Central African Republic have only three ventilators available for COVID-19 patients.
As of Monday, the 1.3 billion-people continent now has over 9,200 confirmed cases and more than 415 fatalities so far. Over 800 patients have also recovered from the virus, according to Africa CDC.
By Mhret G/Kristos