Days after Rwanda received the first delivery of emergency medical supplies from Chinese business magnet Jack Ma to help with the fight against COVID-19, a Chinese diplomat in Kigali has called on his compatriot businesses in Rwanda to borrow a leaf from the billionaire. As part of Jack Ma’s emergency package for African countries in their ongoing effort against the virus, Rwanda was expected to receive 20,000 test kits, 100,000 masks, and 1000 medical protective suits and face shields. Speaking to The New Times on Monday, Wang Jiaxin, the Economic and Commercial Counsellor, Chinese Embassy in Rwanda, said it was China’s tradition to stand in solidarity with other people experiencing hard times. COVID-19 first emerged last year in Chinese city of Wuhan before spreading to the rest of the world. However, China has recently made major gains in the fight against the novel coronavirus with no new home-grown cases recorded over the last couple of days. The Chinese diplomat was also speaking days after a few Chinese firms operating in Rwanda also extended support to Kigali in the battle against the virus. One of them Tian Kang, a medical technology firm, provided 20,000 surgical face masks, 1000 protective overall clothes, and 2000 isolation gowns. Another, China Star, a construction company, provided 96 diagnostic kits, while Chinese Enterprises Association in Rwanda also contributed Rwf10 million. “The Chinese Government is encouraging Chinese companies and nationals to assist countries and people affected by the coronavirus,” Wang said. “We will never forget the 70 countries and 10 international organisations which provided assistance to China when we were hit by the outbreak ourselves. He added: “The Chinese have a philosophy, which is thousands of years old, thus, ‘I will return you with a stream of spring as a reward to a drop of water you gave me when I was in need.’” The diplomat described Rwanda as their “second home, and a country they love. “It is time for all of us to fight shoulder-to-shoulder.” “We are in the same boat,” he noted, adding that it was very important that everyone in Rwanda “observes the Government’s instructions fully”. “If we fight as a team, and wholeheartedly, we will triumph over the pandemic.” He said that the novel coronavirus is “a pandemic, a global crisis”. China has contained the spread the virus, he said, “we are ready to support others in their fight.” Speaking earlier about Jack Ma’s support, Rwanda’s Minister for Health Dr Daniel Ngamije said Kigali was “very grateful for the timely and generous gift of COVID-19 test kits.” “The kits work perfectly with the equipment in our laboratories. It is reassuring that we have increased capacity to test those at risk, take appropriate measures to manage the cases, and prevent further infections,” he said. By Monday, Rwanda had 19 confirmed COVID-19 cases, with the country having recorded its first case a little over a week ago.