This is to help countries in the continent affected by the coronavirus fight against the fast spread of the pandemic.
Chinese billionaire and co-founder of Alibaba, Jack Ma, has pledged to donate 20,000 testing kits, 100,000 masks and 1,000 protective suits to each African country to help the fight against coronavirus. In a statement made on Monday, March 16, 2020, Mr Jack Ma said the resources for African countries would be sent to Addis Ababa (Ethiopia's capital), with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed overseeing distribution to the rest of the continent. Mr Abiy confirmed the news in a series of tweets and spoke of his "great appreciation" for Jack Ma's partnership. "As members of the global community, it will be irresponsible of us to sit on the fence, panic, ignore facts, or fail to act. We need to take action now," Mr Ma added in his statement. He said the Jack Ma Foundation and Alibaba Foundation would also provide online material for coronavirus clinical treatment to medical institutions on the continent. There has been a sharp rise in coronavirus cases in Africa in recent days, although they are still fewer than in most other continents. Strict measures have been ordered, including travel restrictions and the closure of schools, in South Africa and Kenya among others. There are concerns that the continent's weak health systems may be unable to cope with a large outbreak, and that governments lack financial and logistical resources to deal with the coronavirus. Meanwhile, Mr Ma, Asia's richest person, earlier this month announced through its foundation the sending of 500,000 screening kits and one million protective masks to the US. In Europe a cargo plane, landed on the runway of Liege Aiport, Friday from Hangzhou, loaded with about 500,000 masks and various medical supplies such as screening kits. Much of this first shipment is said to be destined for Italy, according to a press release. If Belgium was chosen, it is because the country is the European hub for the Alibaba e-merchant. It should be noted that, Jack Ma had already made several similar donations to other countries, including Japan, South Korea, Iran and Spain. In addition, Jack Ma previously announced on his Weibo account that he would donate $14.5m to support medical research and disease prevention efforts.