Billionaire Jack Ma will donate critical supplies to Morocco and other African countries as the continent prepares for a potential outbreak.
Rabat – Chinese billionaire Jack Ma announced that he will donate over one million testing kits to African countries in an effort to help the continent as it faces a growing number of COVID-19 cases.
Co-founder of Alibaba and one of the richest men in China, Ma has pledged to donate 1.1 million test kits, 6 million face masks, and 60,000 protective suits to countries in Africa.
This comes after a number of experts raised concerns about the potential impact the virus could have on the continent and its healthcare systems.
“The world cannot afford the unthinkable consequences of a COVID-19 pandemic in Africa,” Ma expressed in a tweet.
The supplies will be delivered to Ethiopia, where they will then be distributed to each of the continent’s 54 countries.
In addition to supplies, Ma says he will provide local medical institutions with online training materials to help healthcare workers prepare for a potential outbreak.
“We cannot ignore the potential risk to Africa and assume this continent of 1.3 billion people will blissfully escape the crisis,” Ma said.
In recent weeks a growing number of countries in Africa have reported cases of COVID-19, with both Tanzania and Somalia announcing their first cases on March 16.
The first case of the novel coronavirus in Africa was reported by Egypt in February, and the country remains the hardest hit on the continent with 166 confirmed cases.
Worldwide, the number of COVID-19 cases has reached over 186,000 with over 7,000 fatalities.
“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 act now,” Ma said in a statement.
Ma has also pledged donations of supplies to other countries and regions fighting the virus, including Europe, the United States, and Iran.