Coronavirus: Jack Ma Pledges Emergency Supplies to 10 South Asian Countries
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In an effort to combat surging demand for medical supplies and equipments, Asia’s richest man Jack Ma has extended support to 10 South Asian countries in their fight against coronavirus pandemic by donating emergency supplies.
The Alibaba group founder took to twitter to announce that his firm will donate 1.8 million masks, 210,000 test kits and 36,000 protective suits along with ventilators and thermometers to Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Laos, Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
The Jack Ma foundation and Alibaba foundation have been actively donating medical supplies to other countries that have been severely impacted by the pandemic or are expected to be hit but are underequipped to deal with the crisis.
Ma had announced on 16 March that his firms have dispatched the first shipment of masks and coronavirus test kits to the US from Shanghai. Drawing from China’s experience, Ma said speedy and accurate testing and adequate personal protective equipment for medical professionals are most effective in preventing the spread of the virus.
Source: Jack Ma Twitter Account
Alongside, on the same day, he committed to donate 20,000 test kits, 100,000 masks and 1,000 medical use protective suits and face shields to 54 African countries. So far, 18 of the 54 African countries do not have confirmed coronavirus cases but the pandemic is quickly spreading throughout the continent, as per World Health Organisation (WHO).
“Africa can be one step ahead of the virus,” said Ma in a statement. “We can take precautions now and get prepared ahead of time, as Africa can benefit from the experience and lessons from other countries that were earlier hit hard by the virus.”
Over the past few weeks, his private charity and Alibaba foundation have collaborated to source and donate essential materials to combat coronavirus to afflicted areas in Japan, Korea, Italy, Iran and Spain.
As of 21 March, 234,073 confirmed cases and 9,840 deaths have been reported across 177 affected countries globally, as per WHO data.