from ADANE BIKILA in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
ADDIS ABABA – AFRICA’S fight against the raging coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has received a further boost after philanthropists pledged a second donation of medical supplies to all 54 countries in the continent.
The Alibaba Foundation and Jack Ma Foundation pledged 500 ventilators, 200 000 suits and face shields, 2 000 thermometers, 1 million swabs and extraction kits as well as 500 000 gloves.
The supplies are to be transported throughout the continent through partners including Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), World Food Programme (WFP) while the continent’s largest air carrier Ethiopian Airlines has been roped in to provide widest flights connectivity.
Miriam Forte, the Alibaba Group International Corporate Affairs executive, confirmed the consignment.
This donation is among a number of aid initiatives from the Alibaba and Jack Ma Foundations to support the areas of the world’s most affected by the COVID-19 crisis, sourcing and delivering various types of medical supplies to Asia, Africa, Europe, North America and Latin America.
In March, the foundations announced their commitment to donating 100 000 medical masks, 20 000 test kits and 1 000 protective suits and face shields to each of the 55-member nations on the African continent.
Moreover, the Jack Ma Foundation and Alibaba Foundation are aiming to connect African medical professionals with doctors from China and around the world to collaborate online and exchange hard-earned lessons in the treatment and prevention of COVID-19.
The pandemic was first reported in China at the end of last year.
China has managed to bring the crisis under control largely thanks to lockdowns.
Several governments in Africa have adopted similar measures in an effort to curb the further spread of the virus.
As of Sunday, Africa has confirmed over 9 000 cases, including 437 deaths.
– CAJ News