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As the novel coronavirus COVID-19 continues to slowly spread across Africa, with the numbers of confirmed cases adding up by the day especially in Nigeria, medical aid has been provided by Chinese billionaire, the founder of the Alibaba Group, Jack Ma.

The Chinese billionaire through his foundation, the Jack Ma foundation has donated millions of face masks, testing kits and other protective equipment to Africa as the continent battles to contain the spread of COVID-19.

A cargo operated by Ethiopian Airlines, which has been in charge of distribution of the material on the continent, arrived Lagos at about 3:20 p.m. with Nigeria’s share of the consignment, Business Day reported from the commercial capital.

“We appreciate the donation of the Jack Ma Foundation and the generosity of Jack Ma. We admire Abiy Ahmed, our Prime Minister, for his initiative and organization of the entire coordination of the process,” the newspaper cited Firihiewot Mekonnen, general manager of Ethiopian Airlines Nigeria, as saying in an email Tuesday afternoon.

The items are part of about five million face masks, 1.8 million testing kits, 60,000 protective gears and other critical materials that arrived in Addis Ababa on Monday. Mr Ahmed has been coordinating their speedy distribution across the continent.

The items had been keenly anticipated across the continent, where many countries, including Nigeria, are still believed to be grossly under-testing potential carriers of the virus, making it difficult to understand its severity amongst the population.

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