China’s wealthiest man is donating anti-coronavirus medical supplies to every country in Africa to prevent an outbreak from occurring on the continent.
Jack Ma, worth £32.3billion, has promised to send 100,000 face masks, 20,000 test kits and 1,000 medical use protective suits to each of Africa’s 54 nations.
The 55-year-old tycoon has also urged all countries to avoid being ‘irresponsible’ and ‘take actions now’ after the centre of the outbreak shifted from the Chinese province of Hubei to Europe.
African countries have been among the last to be hit by the coronavirus pandemic. But as cases arise, many nations are now taking strict measures to block the deadly disease, known as COVID-19.
Mr Ma, the founder of e-commerce conglomerate Alibaba, is providing the goods through Jack Ma Foundation and Alibaba Foundation.
Besides, the two organisations ‘will immediately start working with medical institutions in Africa to provide online training material for COVID-19 clinical treatment’, Mr Ma said in a statement.
All supplies, including 1.1 million testing kits, six million masks and 60,000 protective suits, would be flown to Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia.
The Ethiopian Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed, has agreed to help Mr Ma distribute the relief to other nations, the billionaire added.
His statement went on: ‘The crisis is proving to be more difficult and longer lasting than any of us had expected.
‘We must make every effort to get prepared. The past two months show us that if we take it very seriously and are proactive, we are more than capable of containing the virus.
‘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 actions now!’
The self-made billionaire, who used to be an English teacher, has already donated millions of masks and test kits to various countries, including Japan and South Korea, to support their containment of the fast-spreading contagion.
He announced last Friday that he was donating one million face masks and 500,000 coronavirus test kits to the United States.
A week earlier, he offered 1.8million face masks and 100,000 coronavirus test kits to Europe to help heavily hit countries, such as Italy and Spain, to fight the virus.