Chinese billionaire and Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma has pledged to donate two million protective masks for distribution across Europe, with a first consignment arriving in Belgium late on Friday. He also offered the United States 500,000 coronavirus test kits and a million masks, as the country faces a shortage of kits for diagnosing the potentially deadly disease.
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.
Through a donation of 500,000 testing kits and 1 million masks, we join hands with Americans in these difficult times. pic.twitter.com/tGviVhC6Gx— Jack Ma Foundation (@foundation_ma) March 13, 2020
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.
In a statement on Twitter, the founder of e-commerce giant Alibaba said, "drawing from my own country's experience, speedy and accurate testing and adequate protective equipment for medical professionals are most effective in preventing the spread of the virus."
"We hope that our donation can help Americans fight against the pandemic!" he said in the statement, which was posted by the Jack Ma Foundation. Ma, who is China's richest man, said that over the past weeks, his organizations had helped provide similar supplies to virus-hit countries such as Japan, South Korea, Italy, Iran and Spain.
"The pandemic we face today can no longer be resolved by any individual country," Ma said. "We can't beat this virus unless we eliminate boundaries to resources and share our know-how and hard-earned lessons," Ma said.
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