Africa’s response to the Coronavirus outbreak has received a major boost as all the 54 African Union member states are set to receive a consignment of Covid-19 testing and personal protection equipment from the Jack Ma and Alibaba Foundations.
The consignment which includes over 1.5 million laboratory diagnostic test kits as well as more than 100 tons of infection prevention and control commodities arrived at Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on Sunday.
The relief initiative is part of action towards the implementation of the Africa Joint Continental Strategy for COVID-19 and is being led by the African Union through the Africa Centre for Disease Control (CDC).
Speaking from his base in Addis Ababa, Zimbabwe’s Permanent Representative to the African Union, Ambassador Albert Chimbindi said the Africa CDC is already working on logistics to ensure that distribution of the equipment and commodities commences soon.
Ethiopian Airlines will help distribute the equipment to each of the member states as part of its contribution to the fighting COVID-19 in Africa.
Dr John Nkengasong Director of Africa Centre for Disease Control (CDC): “This is a great honour and initiative and a great sign of solidarity that the world needs at this critical time. The test kits and other materials will support African countries in their fight against this outbreak. We are facing a humanitarian situation, an economic situation and a security situation in the continent and Africa CDC clearly applauds the initiative of the prime minister and the Jack Ma and Alibaba Foundations.”
COVID-19 continues to spread rapidly across continents, and has so far claimed over 12-thousand lives globally.
The disease has also had a huge impact on socio-economic activities, particularly tourism and the transport sector.
Jack Ma & the Alibaba Group have sent the first wave of #COVID19 prevention materials which arived in Adis Ababa , Ethiopia on Sunday. Jack Ma & the Alibaba Group first wave of #COVID19 prevention materials.Support includes:
1.1million testing kits
60,000 protective suits to be distributed throughout Africa.
Distribution to other countries will begin as of tomorrow”- Abiy Ahmed Ali, Prime Minister of #Ethiopia
Meanwhile acording to the Africa CDC Latest Update of #COVID19 Surveillance as of 22/032020 5:30EAT
1,268 total positive cases in #Africa
41 countries and 2 territories.
39 deaths in 7 Countries
108 recovery cases in 11 Countries