China's Richest Man Jack Ma Donates 1M Face Masks And 500K Coronavirus Test Kits To US
Jack Ma, founder of e-commerce company Alibaba, announced his plans on Chinese social media site Weibo today [Friday 13 March].
Ma said he would 'immediately' send out the donations to help US citizens.
Writing on Weibo, he explained: "Based on the counter-epidemic experience we have gained in the past months, quick and accurate test solution and protective equipment for medical workers are the key goods to stop the epidemic from escalating.
"Hopefully, these supplies can help some people in the United States.
"This is a big epidemic challenge faced by mankind in an era of globalisation. To this day, it is no longer a challenge any country can overcome by itself, but one that all of us need to face together hand-in-hand.
"Right now, only when we share resources without judgement and exchange counter-epidemic experience and lessons can we have the chance to defeat this disaster."
Just yesterday, Ma announced that he would be sending 1.8 million face masks and 100,000 coronavirus test kits to the European countries hardest hit by the virus, including Spain and Italy. .
Fifty-five-year-old Ma said: "Fortunately, although cross-country transport for counter-epidemic goods has been difficult, we learned that the eWTP (The Electronic World Trade Platform) hub in Europe's Liege Airport is operating well and can act as a lifeline to assist us to deliver our continuous aids to Europe to those in need.
"Although we live thousands of miles apart, we will race against the clock in hopes of providing emergency help to [the countries in need] and overcoming difficulties together."
This isn't the first time Ma has put his hand in his pocket to help tackle the Covid-19 outbreak. In January he donated 100 million yuan (£11 million) to Chinese scientists who are working on a vaccine for the virus.
In a statement, Ma said the funds would be used 'to support the development of a coronavirus vaccine', adding that 20 million yuan (£2.2m/$2.8m) would go to both the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Chinese Academy of Engineering for the current research and development of virus vaccines.
The foundation wrote: "The remaining funds will be used to support domestic and foreign top scientific research institutions and researchers to collaborate."
Director General of the WHO Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said: "Pandemic is not a word to use lightly or carelessly. It is a word that, if misused, can cause unreasonable fear, or unjustified acceptance that the fight is over, leading to unnecessary suffering and death.
"Describing the situation as a pandemic does not change WHO's assessment of the threat posed by this coronavirus. It doesn't change what WHO is doing, and it doesn't change what countries should do.
"We have never before seen a pandemic sparked by a coronavirus. And we have never before seen a pandemic that can be controlled at the same time. WHO has been in full response mode since we were notified of the first cases.
"We have called every day for countries to take urgent and aggressive action. We have rung the alarm bell loud and clear."
It's okay to not panic. LADbible and UNILAD's aim with our campaign, Cutting Through, is to provide our community with facts and stories from the people who are either qualified to comment or have experienced first-hand the situation we're facing. For more information from the World Health Organisation on Coronavirus, click here.
Featured Image Credit: PA