Jack Ma, Asia’s richest man, pledged 1.8 million face masks and 210,000 coronavirus test kits to some of the continent’s poorest nations, the latest step from his foundation to push back against what’s become a global pandemic.
Ma also promised to ship 2 million masks, 400,000 test kits and other aid to 24 Latin American countries. “We will hurry,” he said in a tweet.
The Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. co-founder took to Twitter for the first time on Monday to announce that the Jack Ma Foundation and Alibaba Foundation were sending a donation of emergency supplies to the U.S. Having previously aided virus-fighting efforts in Japan, Iran and Italy, his philanthropic groups also sent thousands of testing kits and masks to countries in Africa.
On Saturday, Ma said that Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Laos, the Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka would all receive protective suits, ventilators and thermometers. On Sunday, he said 104 ventilators will be sent to Latin America, helping efforts in countries like Brazil, Cuba, Ecuador and Peru.
Global shortages of essential medical and protective equipment have affected even the most developed economies, with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo saying more “ventilators, ventilators, ventilators” were needed to help his state handle the anticipated number of infected people needing treatment.