by Kevin Davids
Kenya has received a shipment of 25,000 coronavirus test kits. The kits were donated by China’s billionaire Jack Ma through his Alibaba Foundation.
The donation was received yesterday by Ministry of Health Acting Director General Patrick Amoth. The consignment was delivered by Ethiopian Airlines.
The donation is an addition to what the national government and counties had received – high risk counties got 10,000 protective kits while the rest each had 5,000.
Dr Amoth said the donation will go a long way in protecting health workers as they serve cases of suspect Covid-19 and those who are in isolation.
“We want to thank Jack Ma and our brothers in Ethiopia for delivering this equipment in record time. We will deploy the equipment immediately to be able to help Kenyan people tackle the scourge of coronavirus,” said Amoth.
Kenya’s donation follows a pledge made by the billionaire that each of the 54 countries in Africa will receive the kits.
This saw 1.1 million testing kits, six million masks, and 60,000 medical use protective suits and face shields delivered to Ethiopia before they were distributed to other countries.
“In addition, we will immediately start working with medical institutions in Africa to provide online training material or Covid-19 clinical treatment,” said Jack Ma. The numbers in Africa have been rising with cases now over 1,120 across 46 countries. So far, 26 deaths have been reported in the continent.
Some countries like Rwanda, Senegal, Uganda and Kenya have restricted the movement of people, with partial curfews and lockdowns.
The World Health Organisation had last week cast doubts on the coronavirus numbers in Africa, arguing that they were too low compared to the magnitude in other areas since not much testing was being done.