Kenya: Billionaire Jack Ma Donates Coronavirus Goodies to Kenya, Other African Countries

Travellers undergo security checks and coronavirus screening on arrival at Entebbe International Airport on February 6, 2020.

Kenya is among 54 countries in Africa that will benefit from the Jack Ma Foundation, which has donated 100,000 medical masks, 20,000 test kits and 1,000 protective suits for coronavirus (Covid-19).

The equipment has been donated by Chinese billionaire Jack Ma, the co-founder of e-commerce multinational Alibaba.

Ma announced on Monday he would donate a total of 1.1 million testing kits, 6 million masks and 60,000 medical use protective suits and face shields to Africa.

The donation will be shipped to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, from where they will be distributed.

This comes as efforts to contain the spread of Covid-19 gather pace worldwide. The Alibaba Group Founder has stressed the importance of Africa staying one step ahead of the pandemic, which has continued to ravage countries across the globe.

"We cannot ignore the potential risk to Africa and assume this continent of 1.3 billion people will blissfully escape the crisis," said the statement Ma posted on his Twitter account.

Africa can be one step ahead of the coronavirus. To each of the 54 African countries, we will donate 20,000 test kits, 100,000 masks and 1,000 medical use protective suits and face shields. Thank you @PMEthiopia @AbiyAhmedAli for your support.

- Jack Ma (@JackMa) March 16, 2020

The statement added, "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."

The tycoon said that Jack Ma Foundation and Alibaba Foundation would also provide online training material for Covid-19 clinical treatment to African medical institutions.

"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," said Ma.

Ma also donated similar equipment to the US, Japan, and countries in Europe. The US will receive 500,000 testing kits and one million face masks.

"We hope that our donation can help Americans fight against the pandemic. United we stand, divided we fall," said Ma in a statement.

In addition, he has provided funding to the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity in Australia and Columbia University in the US for coronavirus research as the pursuit for vaccines and treatment continue.

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