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Jack Ma donates coronavirus testing kits to Africa

By JAEL MBOGA AND REUTERS | Tue,Mar 17 2020 18:07:42 EAT

Chinese billionaire Jack Ma (pictured) will donate 20,000 testing kits to each of the 54 African countries to curb coronavirus spread.   In a statement on Monday, Ma and the Alibaba Foundation pledged to further donate 100,000 masks and 1,000 medical use protective suits and face shields.   "In addition, we will immediately start working with medical institutions in Africa to provide online training material for Covid-19 clinical treatment."   All the testing kits will be delivered to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.   Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed agreed to take the lead in managing the supplies distribution.   Ma has also pledged to donate two million protective masks for distribution across Europe, with a first consignment arriving in Belgium late on Friday.   A cargo plane loaded with 500,000 masks and other medical supplies such as test kits landed at Liege Airport. The consignment will be sent to Italy, a joint statement by the Alibaba and Jack Ma foundations, the Belgian region of Wallonia and Liege Airport said.   Further flights are due arrive in coming days to the airport, which is set to become Alibaba’s main European hub for e-commerce shipments.   Ma has also said he will donate 500,000 coronavirus testing kits and one million masks to the United States, while urging international cooperation to fight the health crisis.

The Kenyan government has confirmed another case of coronavirus in the country, bringing the total number to four.

Health CS Mutahi Kagwe said the patient in question had travelled from London, United Kingdom, on March 8 arriving in Kenya on March 9. “The latest case was confirmed today at our National Influenza Centre Laboratory,” CS Kagwe said, adding that the tracing of people who may have come into contact with the patient was underway.

The first case of coronavirus in the country was confirmed on March 13. The CS said out of the 27 persons who came into contact with the patient, only two had tested positive.

Covid 19 Time Series


So far a total of 111 cases have been tested at KEMRI and National Influenza Centre laboratories since the pandemic struck in Kenya.

Kagwe said the 36 people who were in contact with the two latest coronavirus patients had been traced and are being monitored.

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