Nigeria and fifty-three other African countries are in line to benefit from the 500 ventilators donated by Ali Baba Foundation to African Union Member States as part of efforts to fight the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).
Earlier 200,000 suits and face masks, 2,000 thermometers, 1 million swabs and extraction kits, as well as 500,000 gloves, were donated to fight the pandemic on the continent.
The founder, Ali Baba Group, Jack Ma, who made this revelation on Monday, said the donation is the second batch to Africa, revealing that the medical equipment would be distributed by Ethiopian Airlines.
The airline had on March 24 delivered Nigeria’s share of the first batch of medical supplies donated by the philanthropist to Africa which has recorded over 9,000 Coronavirus cases and over 400 attendant deaths.
Ethiopian Airlines had delivered 20,000 laboratory diagnostic test kits, 100,000 medical masks, 1000 protective suits and face shields at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos.
But Jack Ma tweeted that the second batch of medical equipment is on the way.
The tweet stated:
Our second donation to 54 countries in Africa is on the way. That includes 500 ventilators, 200K suits & face shields, 2K thermometers, 1M swabs & extraction kits and 500K gloves. Thank you @AbiyAhmedAli @flyethiopian @AfricaCDC @WFP for your partnership. Stay safe Africa!
— Jack Ma (@JackMa) April 6, 2020”
The Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, Africa CDC, and the Government of Ethiopia received the first consignment of medical equipment from the Jack Ma and Alibaba Foundations.
This relief initiative was launched by the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Dr Abiy Ahmed, the Jack Ma Foundation, and Alibaba Foundation as part of actions towards implementation of the Africa joint continental strategy for COVID-19 led by the African Union through Africa CDC.
The donation is coming at a time when the Federal Government of Nigeria is in dire need of ventilators to cater for the rising figure of COVID-19 cases.