By: Alieu Jallow
A consignment of Corona-virus support materials donated by Jack Ma, Chief Executive Officer of Jack Ma Foundation and Ali Baba global E-commerce giants arrived at the Banjul International Airport on Saturday 28th March 2020, to boost up efforts in the fight against the COVID-19 global pandemic.
The consignment consisted of 100,000 face masks, 20,000 corona-virus test kits, 1,000 set of protective gears and 100,000 safety goggles for onward delivery to various medical facilities
Speaking on behalf of the donor, the Chinese Ambassador to The Gambia, Ma Jianchun said based on China -Africa friendship and the challenges that African countries are facing amid this pandemic, China have decided to provide emergency medical supplies to support the continent in efforts to curb the flow of the virus.
Ambassador Ma stressed that the virus knows no national boundaries adding that the Chinese government will donate more support materials to the Gambia as the pandemic is an enemy to mankind.
World Food Programme Country Director, Wanja Kaaria appealed to Gambians to keep to the custom of World Health Organisation preventive measures which includes the social distancing to prevent the spread of the virus.
On his part, the World Health organization country representative. Dr. Desta Tiruneh indicated that the test kits and other materials will go a long way in the fight against the COVID-19 locally and that his office will continue to lead UN’s efforts to overcome the virus. “The UN is committed to providing concerted support and rallying behind the Gambia in the fight”.
Minster of Health Dr. Amadou Lamin Samateh said the donation in the face of adversity is an opportunity to learn from China who managed to contain the disease. He called on Gambians to observe the unusual times which demands unusual behaviour which the Ministry is struggling to popularise.
In so far the Jack Ma Foundation donated 1.1 million test kits, 5.4 million masks, 40 thousands sets of protective and 60,000 sets of protective shields to the African continent cognizant of Africa’s vulnerability to disaster risk management.