MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines will get 50,000 coronavirus testing kits from Chinese billionaire Jack Ma, Senator Manny Pacquiao announced on Tuesday, March 17.
In an Instagram post, Pacquiao said the kits will be coursed through Ma’s charity foundation, in partnership with the senator’s own foundation.
“We’re excited to announce the Jack Ma Foundation, in partnership with Manny Pacquiao Foundation, is pledging 50,000 test kits to combat COVID-19 in the Philippines,” Pacquiao said.
“With everything that’s happening around the world today, there is no better time to unite and do whatever we can to help each other. Thank you, Jack Ma Foundation, for this generous donation!” he added.
Ma also pledged to donate testing kits to Africa, Europe, and the United States. The US will be receiving 500,000 testing kits and 1 million masks, while each of Africa‘s 54 countries will get 20,000 testing kits, 100,000 masks, and 1,000 protective suits.
In a message to reporters, Pacquiao’s special assistant and business partner Jake Joson said their team is still working on the shipment and government approval processes.
Joson added that Pacquiao will also be donating around 700,000 face masks for frontliners during the “enhanced community quarantine” imposed by the Philippine government on the entire island of Luzon. This will be turned over later on Tuesday at the Philippine National Police headquarters.
As of writing, there are 142 coronavirus cases in the Philippines, with 12 deaths and 3 recoveries. Globally, there are more than 175,000 cases, with over 7,000 deaths across 145 countries. – Rappler.com