Chinese businessman, Jack Ma has pledged to donate masks, testing equipment and protective suits to all 54 African countries.
The donations, according to Jack Ma are to help the continent fight the spread of the deadly, highly-contagious COVID-19 disease.
Already, the number of countries in Africa to confirm the viral infection is rising, with Somalia and Tanzania confirming their first cases today.
In a newsletter by the Jack Ma Foundation that he shared in his Twitter Post on Monday, March 17, Jack Ma stated that consequences to the African continent posed by the novel coronavirus were unthinkable.
“We cannot ignore the potential risk to Africa and assume that this continent of 1.3 billion people will blissfully escape the crisis. The world cannot afford the unthinkable consequences of a COVID-19 pandemic in Africa,” He begins the newsletter.
Ma also stated that Africa would benefit immensely from lessons other countries hard hit by the virus have learnt.
“To combat the potential surgical demands 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 1000 medical use protective suits and face shields,” he continues.
Jack Ma revealed that 1.1 million testing kits, along with 6 million masks and 60,000 medical use protective suits would be delivered to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Ma went on to reveal that the current crisis was harder and is lasting longer than anyone expected.
So far, the virus has infected over 170,000 people and killed over 6,700. Thus, he said, we needed to take every efforts to prepare to deal with it.Continued spreading.
The virus, which originated in Wuhan, China, is now present in over 162 countries and territories.
“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,” Ma concludes.