Gaborone — Government has expressed gratitude to Alibaba and Jack Ma foundations for donating equipment to assist Botswana in combating COVID-19.
The appreciation came from Assistant Minister for Presidential Affairs, Governance and Public Administration, Mr Dumezweni Mthimkhulu, after receiving the consignment of 20 000 testing kits, 100 000 face masks and 1 000 protective suits at Sir Seretse Khama International Airport on March 27.
"We are grateful for those who offered this assistance from China as well as the African Union and Ethiopian Airlines who have facilitated the arrival of the equipment in our country. What we have been offered are important tools that will go a long way in contributing to our efforts to combat the pandemic," Mr Mthimkhulu said.
He said in an interview that the donations would augment government efforts, which included the setting aside of funds and an appeal to willing citizens to contribute to COVID-19 prevention.
Operated by Chinese business magnate, Mr Jack Ma, the two foundations donated the equipment as part of a global campaign to assist African countries and other parts of the world in combating COVID-19.
Director of Health Services, Dr Malaki Tshipayagae, said the consignment was taken to Central Medical Stores (CMS) for reconciliation and testing before distribution to points in the forefront of the battle against COVID-19.
"We are highly indebted for this kind gesture which assists us greatly in our preparedness. We are continuing to acquire the necessary equipment and ensure that we both protect our workers who are in the frontline of the battle against COVID-19 as well as the general public," Dr Tshipayagae said.
He pointed out that in the current circumstances, no country could be said to have adequate facilities to deal with COVID-19 adding that preventative measures were vital to halting the pandemic.
"We are doing our very best to ensure that our country is well equipped. But the experience of the more developed countries is that if infection rates reach a certain level, health facilities become overwhelmed. As such, prevention is key. Our strategy is containment and mitigation; testing, isolating potential cases from the rest of the population, promoting social distancing and hygienic care as well as ensuring our healthcare system can contain any emerging cases," said Dr Tshipayagae.
<i>Source : BOPA</i>