Kagame welcomes COVID-19 test kits donation by Jack Ma

China’s e-commerce billionaire and Alibaba Group founder, Jack Ma addresses a conference in Kigali last year. / File

President Paul Kagame expressed his gratitude for the COVID-19 test kits donated by Chinese business magnate Jack Ma.

Ma is the founder of Alibaba Group, a philanthropist and investor.


The donation arrived in Kigali on Friday March 20.


Kagame, via his twitter handle, thanked the Chinese business magnate for contributing towards work to stop the spread of Coronavirus, a global pandemic.


From Ma's donation, each country was to receive at least 20,000 test kits, 100,000 masks, and 1000 medical use protective suits and face shields among others.

However, by press time, The New Times could not readily establish the number of kits and assorted items that had been delivered to Rwanda

Ma's foundation donated a total of 1.1 million testing kits, six million masks, and 60,000 protective suits and face shields to Africa.

They will also work with local medical institutions on the continent to provide online training material for coronavirus clinical treatments.

"The world cannot afford the unthinkable consequences of a COVID-19 pandemic in Africa," Jack Ma said in a statement on Twitter.

Rwanda has so far confirmed 17 cases of COVID-19 as of March 20th.

The Ministry of Health has previously said the donations will help them increase medical support that enables Rwanda to assess the full extent of the coronavirus’ spread.

President Kagame called upon Rwandans to showcase discipline and not to panic in the wake of the country’s confirmation of the COVID-19 cases (COVID-19).

The first COVID-19 case was confirmed on March 14th when an Indian citizen who arrived from Mumbai, India, on March 8, tested positive of COVID-19.

Sixteen more cases were recorded in the following 7 days.

The government of Rwanda has issued a number of preventive meausres and urged the public to avoid crowded places and practice social distancing by maintaining at least one metre between them and whomever they interact. 





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