The first batch of medical supplies donated by Chinese billionaire Jack Ma to help fight the coronavirus in Africa arrived in Ethiopia on Sunday.
Jack Ma, the co-founder of Alibaba online store, sends millions of test kits, surgical masks, and protective clothing to the mainland, where the Center for Disease Control has confirmed more than 1,000 cases.
The number of known infections in Africa is lower than that of most other continents, but it is increasing rapidly. Some countries have reported a jump in infections, including Ethiopia, Tanzania, and Nigeria.
Rwanda has imposed some of the most stringent measures in sub-Saharan Africa, including closing all borders and banning travel within the country. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has confirmed the arrival of the first shipment of aid to the capital, Addis Ababa.
It includes 1.1 million screening kits, 6 million face masks, and 60,000 protective suits. Aid will be distributed starting Monday, he said in a tweet:
There are fears that the continent’s weak health systems will not be able to cope with a major epidemic, and that governments will lack the financial and logistical resources to deal with the virus.