China’s aid to Africa in fighting COVID-19

A gendarm takes photographs of a shipment of medical supplies donated to help Africa for fight with the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) from Chinese billionaire Jack Ma and the Alibaba Foundation, after it arrived from Ethiopia at Blaise Diagne international airport in Thies, Senegal March 28, 2020.REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra
Photo taken on May 16, 2020 shows medical supplies from China at Cairo International Airport in Cairo, Egypt. (Xinhua/Wu Huiwo)

China was the first country to be hit by the COVID 19 outbreak. With their experience in fighting the virus, China’s contribution in combatting COVID-19 to the world and Africa has ranged from video conferencing, sending experienced medical staff to hard hit countries and providing protective gear for medical personnel.

It has expressed its solidarity especially with Africa with which it has a close relationship.

China has come to Africa’s aid as it confronts COVID-19, sending 5.4 million face masks and over a million test kits and thousands of protective suits to distribute to all countries in Africa as early as March .

China has also dispatched a number of medical teams to some African countries to help in the fight against COVID-19.

Countries like Algeria, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, DRC, Ethiopia, Burkina Faso, Sudan, Djibouti and Cote d’Ivoire have received medical experts to help the countries fight the COVID-19 pandemic while nearly 1,000 Chinese medical personnel are working in Africa long-term, according to China’s National Health Commission.

According to Africa CDC, medical experts from more than 30 African countries have held webinars with Chinese counterparts on how to better handle the COVID-19 outbreak in the continent.

Africa has also received medical supplies and donations from China’s private sector. Jack Ma’s Foundation has donated millions of medicals supplies to 54 African countries, the latest being his donation to Africa CDC which received 4.6 million masks, 500,000 swabs and test kits, 300 ventilators, 200,000 sets of protective clothing, 200,000 face shields, 2,000 temperature guns, 100 body temperature scanners, and 500,000 pairs of gloves in April.

As China continues to show its solidarity with the continent, it will also give Africa 30 million test kits per month, as well as 10,000 ventilators and 80 million masks according to South Africa’s president Cyril Ramaphosa who had talks with China’s president Xi Jinping about securing medical supplies.